Millions evacuated and casualties reported after a powerful earthquake hit the coastline of Chile. A tsunami alert has been issued for neighbouring and Pacific countries.
A magnitude 8.3 earthquake struck near the coast of Chile, and eight people were killed, and one million evacuated from their homes. This activity sent powerful waves flooding into the coastal cities. Now both sides of the Pacific are warned for possible tsunamis. After a while, a tsunami alert issued for the Chilean coast was lifter.
Chile’s ministry of the interior and public security announced that 20 people have been injured. Phone networks were down in some parts of the country, so the full extent of damage is not yet confirmed. A tsunami hit the city of Tongoy at 8.20pm local time, 25 minutes after the earthquake. The city of Concon which is very popular for tourists was being deluged by waves.
Michelle Bachelet, Chile’s President, said on national television Tongoy and Concon have been flooded and damaged. She then declared a catastrophe zone in those cities and mobilized the military to help people and prevent looting.
Also, schools were closed in some areas. The interior ministry’s national office of emergency urged people not to return to their homes until it is safe.
This quake raised fears of tsunamis across the Pacific Ocean, as well as Japan, New Zealand, Russia and the US states of Hawaii and California.