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No Pacific-wide tsunami expected from magnitude 7.6 Chilean aftershock

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 7:55 p.m. HST, Apr 2, 2014

An earthquake measuring magnitude 7.6 struck northern Chile Wednesday but did not generate a Pacific-wide tsunami that would threaten Hawaii, officials said.

The quake, which hit at 11:43 p.m. at the epicenter (4:43 p.m. in Hawaii), was centered about 12 miles south of Iquique, Chile, at a depth of about 25 miles, according to updated information from the U.S. Geological Survey. The quake had been listed as 7.8 magnitude but later was reclassified as 7.6 magnitude.

While Hawaii, the U.S. West Coast, Alaska and British Columbia were not threatened, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Ewa Beach issued a regional tsunami warning for Chile and Peru that was canceled at about 6 p.m. Hawaii time.

The 7.6 earthquake appears to be the largest of dozens of strong aftershocks from Tuesday evening's 8.2 magnitude temblor that struck just off Chile's northern coast, killing six people and leading to the evacuation of thousands in the South American country.

Chile's Emergency Office and navy ordered a precautionary evacuation of low-lying areas on the northern coast after Wednesday night's earthquake, meaning many people could be spending another sleepless night away from their homes, the Associated Press reported. 

The aftershock caused buildings to shake and people to run out into the streets in the port of Iquique, which was one of the cities that saw some damage from Tuesday night's big quake. But there were no immediate reports of new damage or injuries from the latest temblor. It was felt across the border in southern Peru, where people in the cities of Tacna and Arequipa reportedly fled buildings in fear. 

Tuesday's 8.2 quake led PTWC officials to place Hawaii under a tsunami advisory that was lifted at about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday after only small seismic waves hit the state. Wave heights increased by up to about two feet locally, and there were no reports of damage or injury.

With Wednesday's quake, the warning center quickly released a statement saying no Pacific-wide tsunami was expected but that seismic waves near the epicenter were possible.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Correction: The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami advisory for Hawaii after Tuesday's magnitude 8.2 quake off Chile. An earlier version of this story referred to it as a "warning."

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