Earthquake In Chile Prompts Tsunami Alerts, And 1 Million Evacuate


Earthquakes are not uncommon in Chile, but a particularly massive one struck not far off its coast last night.

The 8.3-magnitude earthquake prompted the evacuation of around one million people and left at least eight dead, The New York Times reports. About 243,000 homes also lost power.

A tsunami warning was issued and subsequently lifted, but flooding still occurred in some cities, causing significant damage in places like Coquimbo.

Chile's coastline is 2,690 miles, making natural disasters like this particularly problematic.

The quake struck at roughly 7:54 pm and around 177 miles north of Chile's capital, Santiago. It was reportedly so strong, people could feel it all the way in São Paulo, Brazil -- over 2,000 miles away.

After last night's quake, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet reportedly stated,

Correspondingly, in 2010, Chile was struck with a devastating 8.8-magnitude earthquake that caused a tsunami and left over 500 dead. At least 81 of those deaths were allegedly attributed to the fact officials failed to issue a tsunami warning.

This helps explain why officials were so vigilant with the quake last night and ordered an immediate evacuation.

Citations: In Chile Earthquake Forces One Million to Evacuate (The New York Times)