8.3 earthquake strikes off Chile's coast, killing ten

Magnitude 8.3 earthquake strikes off Chile’s coast, leaving at least ten dead, 20 injured

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

People recover items from a destroyed shop caused by the waves in Concon city

Updated Sep 17, 2015

A 8.3-magnitude earthquake hit the coast of Chile at 7:54 pm local time (2254 GMT) on Wednesday, leaving more than five dead and 20 wounded, according to an official. On Thursday, the Chilean Government announced that the death toll rose to ten. 

The quake struck 130 km (81 miles) west-northwest of Iquique, shaking buildings in Chile's capital, Santiago.

Chilean Minister of Defence Jorge Burgos said on Thursday that the quake was the largest in the world this year, adding that the port of Comquimbo had suffered severe damage. 

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center warned on Wednesday that "widespread hazardous tsunami waves are possible," but Chile lifted its tsunami warning on early Thursday. 

Residents heard tsunami warning sirens, as authorities from the coastal areas ordered evacuation in Chile's second largest metropolitan city, Valparaiso. 

The National Weather Service also issued a warning on a potential tsunami, which could reach Hawaii by 2:30 am.

There have been no immediate reports of injuries or damage yet but the communications were disrupted in some areas.

Several strong aftershocks, including 6.2  and 6.4 magnitude aftershocks respectively hit the country following the massive earthquake.  

Chile's state copper miner Codelco also evacuated its workers at its Ventanas division following the strong quake.

Chile is one of the world's most earthquake-prone countries.

In 2010, a 8.8-magnitude quake killed more than 500 people, destroying  220,000 homes in the country.

TRTWorld and agencies