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Officials continue to evaluate tsunami threat following Chile earthquake

April 1, 2014 - 5:51pm

Officials continue to evaluate the threat of a tsunami following a magnitude-8.2 earthquake Tuesday afternoon off the coast of northern Chile.

“From all of the data that we’ve received so far, thankfully, it looks like Hawaii doesn’t have a big threat from this event. We are in the process of doing probably the last evaluation we will do,” Pacific Tsunami Warning Center Director Chip McCreary said shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday. “Hopefully, it will just be an advisory, but we are still evaluating. But, I think we will be able to make a decision within the hour.”

If tsunami were triggered the first waves would arrive at 3:24 a.m. Wednesday.

The magnitude-8.2 temblor struck at 1:47 p.m. Hawaii time, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

The earthquake was registered at a depth of 6.2 miles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was located offshore of the Tarapaca region in northern Chile.

The 1:47 p.m. magnitude-8.2 earthquake was followed by 14 aftershocks ranging from magnitude-4.7 to magnitude-6.2, according to the USGS.

The initial temblor caused landslides and set off a small tsunami that forced an evacuation of coastal areas, according to The Associated Press. In the city of Arica, the mayor reported some minor injuries and said some homes made of adobe were destroyed. The quake shook modern buildings in nearby Peru and in Bolivia’s high altitude capital of La Paz.

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