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April 1, 2014

Tsunami warning: Magnitude 8.0 quake strikes off Chile

Chile earthquake map Photo: Position of the magnitude 8.0 earthquake near Iquique, Chile. (USGS)

Chile has requested an evacuation of its northern coastline after a magnitude 8.0 earthquake triggered a tsunami off the Chilean coast.

A tsunami warning has been issued for Chile, Peru and Ecuador and a tsunami watch is also in effect for Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) says the quake was very shallow, only 10 km below the seabed, which would have made it feel stronger. It was centred 86 km northwest of Iquique.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre says the wave has been measured at 1.7 to 1.9 metres.

“An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines near the epicentre within minutes and more distant coastlines within hours,” it said.

“Authorities should take appropriate action in response to this possibility.”

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