UPDATE, 8:20 p.m. EDT: At least five aftershocks between 5.7 and 6.4 on the Richter scale have hit within 50 miles of Illapel, Chile, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. One person reportedly died when a wall fell on him or her, and the Santiago airport was temporarily closed. Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Ministry of Civil Defense and Emergency Management was looking into tsunami threats there.
Many Twitter users posted photos of chaos and damage:
— Hugo Chávez M (@HugoChavezM) September 16, 2015
Así quedó un Supermercado de Copiapó!! RT pic.twitter.com/kcCjsGMUEL
— Luis Pizarro (@lusho_pizarro) September 16, 2015
Me mandaron esta foto del mall Costanera Center ante fuerte terremoto de Chile, están evacuando las costas RT pic.twitter.com/0vUUtau0mi
— Roger Gonzalez (@rogergzz) September 17, 2015
— Alejandro Alegria (@alegriagonzaa) September 17, 2015
UPDATE, 7:55 p.m. EDT: The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has issued a tsunami watch for the state of Hawaii. It noted that an investigation was underway to assess the threat, writing that “based on all available data, a tsunami may have been generated by this earthquake that could be destructive on coastal areas even far from the epicenter.”
In South America, officials warned that Chile could experience waves higher than 3 meters above the tide level. Ecuador and Peru could see waves up to 1 meter above the tide level.
— Radio Altos FM 97.9 (@radioaltos) September 16, 2015
— Javier Vergara P. (@vergarapetrescu) September 16, 2015
— Danielle Dozier (@DanielleDozier) September 16, 2015
Original Story: An intense earthquake reportedly shook Chile Wednesday night, prompting local agencies to issue tsunami warnings for the area. The United States Geological Survey recorded the 8.3 temblor about 30 miles west of Illapel, a coastal city near the capital of Santiago, shortly before 7 p.m. EDT. It originally put the earthquake at magnitude 7.9 but quickly revised its reading.
The National Emergency Office of the Ministry of Interior and Public Security tweeted that the Chilean Navy Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service had published a tsunami warning for the entire coastline. The emergency office asked residents to evacuate their coastal homes but noted on its website in Spanish that "preliminarily there was no harm to people, disruption to basic services or infrastructure reported." It classified the earthquake as a 7.2 magnitude.
— Cristian Benavides (@CBenavidesTAZ) September 16, 2015
— Razorblade Romance》 (@rzrbladeromance) September 16, 2015