Massive Earthquake Strikes Off the Chilean Coastline: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

A massive 8.2 earthquake has prompted a mass tsunami warning across all of Latin America’s Pacisfic coast. The BBC reports that the quake was shallow, about six miles beneath the seabed.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. The Quake Struck Just 56 Miles From the Coast

The earthquake struck 56 miles north-west of the coastal mining town of Iquique. According to meteorologist Brad Panovich, at 8.2 the earthquake is the biggest recorded on earth since May 2013. The U.S. Geological Survey have said that this quake has to power to create a massive tsunami. The Weather Channel reports that at 9:02 p.m. a 7.6 foot wave was reported:

2. A Full Evacuation is Underway

Across Chilean TV, authorities are ordering people to evacuate the country’s coastal areas. CNN reports that people can be seen walking through the streets, calmly, while traffic piles up on the roads.

3. A Total of 9 Countries Are Under Tsunami Watch

The tsunami watch also affects Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. According to ABC News, a small wave of under one foot is possible for around the San Diego area. The National Weather Service says that a wave of half a foot will strike the Washington coastline at around 7 a.m. local time.

4. Prisoners Escaped From Jail

Over 300 female prison from a women’s jail took their opportunity during the chaos of the earthquake to escape. According to reports, after 12 hours of on the lam, 100 or so of these prisoners had been recaptured.

5. Reports of Damage Are Coming In

They Mayor of Arica has told the media there are reports of minor injuries and some damage to older buildings in his town. Phone and power services in the town are out. RT reports sources in Chile telling them that six people have died and manyothers are injured due to the wave. There are further reports of looting and fires breaking out across Iquique. The military has been dispatched to the reason to quell the tension.

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