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8.2-magnitude earthquake hits coast of Chile, least 6 dead

By Kyle Johnson,

At least six people are dead after an earthquake, currently believed to have been a magnitude of 8.2, struck off the coast of Chile, which also produced a small tsunami.

The quake originated about 61 miles west-northwest of Iquique, according to ABC World News. The quake was also 6.21 miles deep. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said that the earthquake triggered a 6-foot tsunami.

The tsunami struck the town of Pisaqua in Chile, but wasn't worrisome. Tsunami warnings for several nearby countries, including Peru and Colombia, have since been cancelled.

Geophysicist Gerard Fryer said, "The waves will not be big enough to cause any flooding, so nobody needs to evacuate. But we just want to clear the beaches." But that wasn't too difficult since it was still quite early in the morning when the warnings went out.

World News reported that only five people had died, either of falling debris or cardiac arrest, while Reuters reports that six people have died.

Also 2,600 houses have suffered damage. Some fishing boats also were damaged, but overall there seemed to be relatively little damage. The copper mines in the area were said to still be operating normally.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said after visiting Iquique, "We are here to recognize the calm behavior of the people of Iquique who showed great civic responsibility, as did those of Arica."

 
 

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