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video from: CNN

(CNN) — A massive magnitude 8.8 earthquake rocked Chile early Saturday, killing at least 122 people and triggering tsunami warnings for the entire Pacific basin.

“I would like to offer my condolences to the families of the 122 people who lost their lives during the earthquake,” said Chilean President-Elect Sebastian Pinera. “And by the way, the number of victims could get higher.”

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said she expected the death toll to rise.

“We are taking all the necessary measures at this time,” she said.

Officials did not give any information on the number of those injured. The full extent of the damage was not yet known, although there were reports of collapsed buildings and hundreds of people in the streets.

The capital of Santiago lost electricity and basic services including water and telephones. Bachelet said regional hospitals had suffered damage; some were evacuated. A major bridge connecting northern and southern Chile was rendered inoperable, and the Santiago airport was shut down for at least the next 24 hours.

-read more at cnn.com

Americans in Chile: State Department of Consular Affairs 1-888-407-4747

News from: United States Geological Survey’s (USGS) Earthquake Hazards Program

Earthquake Summary

Tectonic Summary

This earthquake occurred at the boundary between the Nazca and South American tectonic plates. The two plates are converging at a rate of 80 mm per year. The earthquake occurred as thrust-faulting on the interface between the two plates, with the Nazca plate moving down and landward below the South American plate.

Coastal Chile has a history of very large earthquakes. Since 1973, there have been 13 events of magnitude 7.0 or greater. The February 27 shock originated about 230 km north of the source region of the magnitude 9.5 earthquake of May, 1960 – the largest instrumentally recorded earthquake in the world. This magnitude 9.5 earthquake killed 1655 people in southern Chile and unleashed a tsunami that crossed the Pacific, killing 61 people in Hawaii, Japan, and the Philippines. Approximately 870 km to the north of the February 27 earthquake is the source region of the magnitude 8.5 earthquake of November, 1922. This great quake significantly impacted central Chile, killing several hundred people and causing severe property damage. The 1922 quake generated a 9-meter local tsunami that inundated the Chile coast near the town of Coquimbo; the tsunami also crossed the Pacific, washing away boats in Hilo harbor, Hawaii. The magnitude 8.8 earthquake of February 27, 2010 ruptured the portion of the South American subduction zone separating these two massive historical earthquakes.

A large vigorous aftershock sequence can be expected from this earthquake.

Earthquake Information for Chile

Earthquake Information for South America

Earthquake Details

Magnitude 8.8
Date-Time
Location 35.846°S, 72.719°W
Depth 35 km (21.7 miles) set by location program
Region OFFSHORE MAULE, CHILE
Distances 100 km (60 miles) NNW of Chillan, Chile

105 km (65 miles) WSW of Talca, Chile

115 km (70 miles) NNE of Concepcion, Chile

325 km (200 miles) SW of SANTIAGO, Chile

Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 7.2 km (4.5 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters NST=255, Nph=255, Dmin=988 km, Rmss=1.12 sec, Gp= 36°,

M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=7

Source
  • USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Event ID us2010tfan

Read more at earthquake.usgs.gov