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Massive Earthquake Triggers Tsunami, Claims Lives in Chile

A tsunami warning has been lifted in Chile, but the country is still assessing the damage after a massive 8.3 magnitude earthquake shook buildings, claimed lives and did trigger large waves that swept into coastal towns overnight.

Strong aftershocks rippled through Chile on Thursday after a magnitude 8.3 earthquake that killed at least eight people and slammed powerful waves into coastal towns, forcing more than a million people from their homes. Image credit: VICE/with overlay

After the initial quake late Wednesday night, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) issued a series of warnings for low-lying island states across the Pacific, including Hawaii and French Polynesia. Though waves did wash ashore in Chile, the impact across longer distances have reportedly been slight.

According to the most recent update from Reuters:

Strong aftershocks rippled through Chile on Thursday after a magnitude 8.3 earthquake that killed at least eight people and slammed powerful waves into coastal towns, forcing more than a million people from their homes.

The government ordered evacuations from coastal areas after the powerful quake hit on Wednesday evening, seeking to avoid a repeat of a quake disaster in 2010 when authorities were slow to warn of a tsunami that killed hundreds.

As the risk subsided, the government lifted its tsunami warning on Thursday morning.

The quake and heavy waves afterward caused flooding in coastal towns, damaged buildings and knocked out power in the worst hit areas of central Chile. It shook buildings in the capital city of Santiago about 280 km (175 miles) to the south.

Agence France-Presse provided this news footage from Chile:

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