Chile struck by massive quake: As it happened

Taking the advantage of the quake that allowed jail break, 300 women prisoners escaped from the prison in Iquique.

By Supriya Jha | Updated: Apr 02, 2014, 22:40 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha

07:30 pm: Copper mining unaffected by quake

The quake seems to not have impacted Chile`s flourishing copper mining industry as state-owned copper miner, Codelco, said there were no reports of injuries to employees or damage to its operations in the area affected, reported the Wall Street Journal.

05:00 pm: Bigger quake waiting in the wings?

The northern Chile that had been witnessing tremors since last two weeks on Tuesday was rattled by a stronger quake of magnitude 8.2 earthquake. But if a geophysicist is to be believed, a bigger quake might be waiting in the wings.

According to the CNN, Mark Simons, a geophysicist from California says, "This magnitude 8.2 is not the large earthquake that we were expecting in this area".

Simons said that Tuesday`s 8.2 quake is of interest because the fault line along Chile`s coast has constantly shifted during the last 140 years. According to him, when that bigger quake will occur, the surface will rupture and the two sides of the fault will slip past each other, but it has not happened by this quake.

04:00 pm: Death toll increases to six

Now, six people have been confirmed dead in the aftermath of the 8.2-magnitude earthquake in northern Chile, reported the ABC News. Earlier, the interior minister had said that five people were killed in the quake.

03:00 pm: Nearly 1 million evacuated

In the wake of the strong quake that hit northern Chile, almost 1 million people were evacuated, the ABC news reported.

The report added that more than 900,000 people and 11 hospitals were evacuated along the Chilean coastline according to the government officials.

Officials added that 86,000 people are still at risk in Chile`s tsunami alert zone.

Six towns remain under a tsunami alert - Arica, Psauga, Iquique, Patache, Tocopilla and Mejillones.

02:30 pm: Indonesia could be hit by a small tsunami

Similar to Japan, even Indonesia could be hit vbya small tsunami from Chile earthquake, said reports.

01:40 pm: Chile military tasked to avert looting in the aftermath of earthquake

President Michelle Bachelet has roped in Chile`s Army and Air Force to tackle the situation in quake-hit areas of Arica and Tarapaca where disaster has been declared.

Reports said that Army Brigadier Miguel Dilet will take care of Arica and Air Force General Arturo Merino will take contol of Tarapaca to maintain public order. The President said that the military will help prevent looting and disorder in the areas vulnerable after the quake.

01:40 pm: Tsunami may reach Japan coast on Thursday

In the aftermath of a massive quake in Chile, the tsunami may reach Japanese coast on Thursday said the country`s meteorological agency according to the Strait Times.

The first wave is expected to hit the Pacific coasts of Hokkaido, northernmost Japan, Kyodo news agency reported.

01:10 pm: Disaster declared in quake-hit areas

President Michelle Bachelet has declared the affected areas of northern Chile a disaster area. The President said that Chile was used to tackling the "first emergency hours very well" and that the extent of damage will only be assesses as time goes by.
The President is set to visit the affected areas on Thursday.
01:00 pm: Thanks to quake, 300 women inmates escape

Taking the advantage of the quake that allowed jail break, 300 women prisoners escaped from the prison in Iquique, informed the interior minister. Reports said, some 45 had been recaptured but remaining were still at large.

Authorities have deployed a planeload of special forces to prevent incidents of looting.

12:30 pm: 8.2 earthquake in Chile sparks tsunami alert

A tsunami warning issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre is still in effect for Hawaii. Earlier, several tsunami warnings had been issue by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center for areas like Chile, Peru, Ecuador,Colombia,Panama,Costa Rica etc. But later all the alerts were cancelled, including for Chile and Peru.

Some areas in Chile were lashed by mammoth waves of up to 2.1m, which triggered landslides and resulted in power cuts and fires.

Peru also witnessed waves of 2 meters above normal that forced evacuations of hundreds of people.

Chile, one of the most earthquake-prone nations in the country was once again rattled by a strong earthquake of magnitude 8.2, followed by several aftershocks. A small tsunami was also sparked that forced evacuations along the Pacific Coast.

Interior Minister Rodrigo Penailillo said that at least five had been dead either by getting crushed or after heart attacks.

The US Geological Survey recorded the magnitude of quake at 8.0 initially but later upgraded it to 8.2. The tremor struck 61 miles northwest of the Chilean city of Iquique at 8:46 pm on Tuesday night.

The area has been under tectonic activities for two weeks as the tremors have been visiting since a strong magnitude-6.7 quake on March 16 that led to evacuations along the low-lying areas.

Chile is unfortunately placed on the "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines around the Pacific Basic, making it vulnerable to earthquakes and volcanoes.

Chile was in 2010 hit by a giant earthquake that measured 8.8 on Richter scale and the tsunami triggered by it toppled buildings. 500 were killed in that quake.

Chile is also the nation that was hit by the strongest quake recorded ever - a 9.5 quake in 1962 that killed 5000 people.