Tsunami warning issued after 8.2 quake in Chile

[Update April 1 9:45 EDT]: A tsunami watch has been extended to the following countries: Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras

A massive earthquake has hit off the coast of Chile. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the quake hit today (April 1) around 7:46 PM EDT or around 23:46:45 UTC. The quake registered as a preliminary 8.0, but was upgraded to a 8.2. What does a 8.0 earthquake mean? It means it has so much energy that it is roughly equivalent of releasing over 6 million tons of TNT. Quakes with intensity higher than 8.0 are extremely rare, and usually occurs once a year on average.

Location of the 8.0 Earthquake on April 1, 2014. Image Credit: USGS
Location of the 8.2 Earthquake on April 1, 2014. Image Credit: USGS

Here’s more information regarding the quake via the USGS:

Nearby cities of the quake:
99km (62mi) NW of Iquique, Chile
140km (87mi) SSW of Arica, Chile
191km (119mi) SSW of Tacna, Peru
225km (140mi) SSE of Ilo, Peru
449km (279mi) SW of La Paz, Bolivia

Location: 19.642°S 70.817°W

Depth of the quake= 20.1 kilometers or 12.5 miles

Preliminary depth and location of the 8.0 quake. Image Credit: Pacific Tsunami Warning Center
Preliminary depth and location of the 8.2 quake. Image Credit: Pacific Tsunami Warning Center

A tsunami warning has been issued for Chile, Ecuador, and Peru. A Tsunami Watch is in effect for Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua. The Pacific Tsunami Center is further analyzing whether a tsunami could impact Hawaii. If they believe it could, then a watch or warning could be activated. The estimated time of a tsunami to hit Hawaii, should it occur, would be around 3:24 AM HST on Wednesday, April 2, 2014.

Here’s an image from the National Tsunami Warning Center showing the estimated times of the possible tsunami in the Pacific Ocean:

Tsunami travel times

As of now, a 6-foot tsunami hit Pisagua, Chile, at 8:04 PM EDT. Iquique, Chile recorded a 7-foot wave.

Here’s initial video of the sirens sounding in parts of Chile:

We will keep you updated as we get more information.

April 1, 2014

Like what you read?
Subscribe and receive daily news delivered to your inbox.

Your email address will only be used for EarthSky content. Privacy Policy
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

More from 

Matt Daniel

View All