Chile Quake Triggers Mass Evacuation, Tsunami Alert | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Chile Quake Triggers Mass Evacuation, Tsunami Alert

Posted: Sep 17, 2015 at 11:17 am   /   by   /   comments (0)


One million people have been evacuated in Chile after a powerful earthquake hit the country’s central region.

At least five people died when the 8.3-magnitude quake hit.

Residents of Illapel, near the quake’s epicentre, fled into the streets in terror as their homes began to sway.

A tsunami alert originally issued for the entire Chilean coast has been partly lifted since. In the coastal town of Coquimbo, waves of up to 4.5m (15ft) in height hit the shore.

Gloria Navarro who lives in the coastal town of La Serena described how “people were running in all directions”.

Maria Angelica Leiva from Navidad, also on the coast, described how she fled her home.

“It’s been awful. We ran out of the house with our grandchildren and now we are on a hill hoping it will be over soon,” she told Reuters news agency.

“It is all very dark, and we just hope the sea hasn’t reached our house,” she added.

Three people died of heart attacks and another two were crushed by falling rocks and masonry, officials said.

A local mayor reported a sixth victim, a 19-year-old, who was crushed to death in the town of Monte Patria, although this has not been confirmed.

Officials said 1,800 people in Illapel were left without drinking water.

Electricity providers said hundreds of thousands of their clients in the worst-affected Coquimbo region had no power.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the tremor struck off the coast of Coquimbo, 46km (29 miles) West of the city of Illapel at 19:54 local time (22:54 GMT).

The USGS said it was at a depth of 25km, while Chilean seismologists calculated its depth at 11km.

.Source: BBC