East Hawaii News

Civil Defense: Little Effect Locally From Chilean Earthquake

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The tsunami advisory issued late Tuesday afternoon following a powerful earthquake off Chile was cancelled as of 7:25 a.m. today, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

The center had issued the advisory at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday to warn the public of the possibility of strong currents and possible sea-level changes beginning at 3:24 a.m.

However, very little effect was seen locally.

“There were no significant tidal actions or height changes in sea level,” Duane Hosaka, a staff officer at the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said this morning.

The county had taken the precaution of closing county beach parks until 8 a.m. today.

The 8.2 magnitude tremor generated tsunami waves 7 feet in height at Iquique, Chile, near the earthquake’s epicenter, CNN reported today.

Four men and one woman died, Chilean officials said in the report. Two suffered heart attacks and three were crushed.

Response to the tremor was fairly swift in Chile where memories are still fresh of the 8.8 magnitude quake that shook the region in 2010, killing 500 people.

CNN reported that 300 prisoners escaped from a jail in Iquique in the aftermath of the earthquake.

The US Geological Survey on Tuesday initially reported eight aftershocks of magnitude 5.2 or greater off Chile within three hours of the 1:46 p.m. shaker, with the strongest, of 6.2 magnitude, occurring 12 minutes later.

However, updated information from the USGS this morning indicated a total of nine aftershocks there so far with magnitudes of ranging from 4.1 to 5.4, with the latest occurring at 7:21 a.m. today, Hawaii time.


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