UPDATE for my Hawaii readers: Hawaii is expected to get hit by the tsunami around 4pm est and they are predicting the first wave to be about 6 meters.
Horrible. I’m trying to remember if there ever was an 8.8 in living memory. This is about 700 times stronger than the Haitian quake:
A massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck central Chile early Saturday, killing at least 78 people, collapsing buildings and setting off a tsunami.
A huge wave reached a populated area in the Robinson Crusoe Islands, 410 miles (660 kilometers) off the Chilean coast, said President Michele Bacelete.
Tsunami warnings were issued over a wide area, including South America, Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand, Japan, the Philippines, Russia and many Pacific islands.
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A meteorologist monitors the tsunami situation from his computer in Taiwan’s central weather bureau after a 8.8-magnitude quake struck Chile on Feb. 27
“It has been a devastating earthquake,” Interior Minister Edmundo Perez Yoma told reporters.
Ms. Bachelet said the death toll was at 78 and rising, but officials had no information on the number of people injured. She declared a “state of catastrophe” in central Chile.
“We have had a huge earthquake, with some aftershocks,” Ms. Bachelet said from an emergency response center. She urged Chileans not to panic.
“Despite this, the system is functioning. People should remain calm. We’re doing everything we can with all the forces we have. Any information we will share immediately,” she said.
In the 2 ½ hours following the 90-second quake, the U.S. Geological Survey reported 11 aftershocks, five of them measuring 6.0 or above.