Saturday, February 27, 2010

Earthquake Hit Chile-8.8 Magnitude

2:07 AM by Problemfixer · 0 comments


News from CNN reported that a massive magnitude 8.8 earthquake struck central Chile early Saturday, rattling bulidings and triggering a tsunami. At least 6 people were killed and the death toll is expected to rise, government officials said.

The epicenter of the earthquake was located near the city of Concepcion, 212 miles (341 kilometers) from the capital of Santiago. The quake struck at 3:34 a.m. (1:34 a.m. ET). Concepcion is Chile's second largest city with a population of 200,000. There are reports of collapsed buildings in Santiago. The quake was felt in several Chilean towns and in parts of Argentina as well.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami warning for Chile and Peru. A tsunami watch has been issued for Ecuador, Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica. The center recorded a tsunami wave as high as 9 feet.

iReport.com: Did you feel it? Share information, images with CNN. "An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines near the epicenter within minutes and more distant coastlines within hours," the National Weather Service said in a statement.

Officials hoped to learn more about the devastation in the morning. Santiago resident Leo Perioto jumped out of his bed in his apartment at the top of a six-story building.

"The whole building was shaking," he said. "The windows were wobbling a lot. We could feel the walls moving from side to side."

Alessandro Perez, who is staying at the Santiago Marriott Hotel, reported shattered windows, but there was no structural damage. No one at the hotel was injured, he said. Anita Herrera, who works at the Hotel Kennedy in Santiago, said electricity was knocked out at that hotel and guests were nervous.

"Our hotel is built for this," she said. "In Chile, this happens many times." Chile holds the record for the largest earthquake in the world, according to the USGS. A magnitude 9.5 quake struck the South American country in May 1960 and killed 1,655 people.

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