We seem to have been through a quiet period as far as earthquakes are concerned in the last few months, but with the higher energy coming in on 28th Sept, we may be in for an active period again, like May 2015 was. There has been another earthquake off Fraser Is, Qld yesterday after, I wrote this.
Today 17th Sept:
A massive 8.3-magnitude earthquake has struck the centre of Chile, triggering the evacuation of coastal areas and warnings that tsunami waves could reach as far as New Zealand and Japan.
At least two people were killed and 10 hurt in Chile, where terrified residents rushed out onto the streets in the capital Santiago and beyond, as far away as Argentina.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) put the shallow offshore quake at a magnitude of 8.3 and said it hit about 230 kilometres north of Santiago, a city of 6.6 million people.
The 7.54pm on Wednesday (0854 AEST Thursday) quake had a depth of eight kilometres, the USGS said, also reporting two aftershocks, both above 6.0.
The Chilean government put the earthquake at 8.0 on the Richter scale.
Interior Minister Jorge Burgos said that the evacuation of coastal towns and cities was ordered as a precautionary measure.
The quake was felt as far away as Buenos Aires, in Argentina, about 1400 kilometres away, while a tsunami warning was initially in place for the whole of Chile and Peru’s Pacific coastline.
In Santiago, there were scenes of pandemonium as thousands fled swaying buildings, an AFP reporter said.
There were similar scenes of panic in coastal La Serena, in the north of Chile and in Argentina.
The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said that “hazardous” tsunami waves were possible for some coasts, including above three metres the tide level along parts of Chile’s shoreline.
Tsunami waves were also possible along French Polynesia, it said, as well as smaller waves as far afield as Alaska, Japan and New Zealand.
The precautionary alert for Peru was later called off, civil defence officials said, but scared residents in the city of Ilo, close to the border with Chile, remained out on the streets and in high areas nonetheless.
In April last year, a deadly 8.2-magnitude earthquake in northern Chile killed six people and forced a million to leave their homes in the region around Iquique.
And a February 27, 2010 quake that struck just off the coast of Chile’s Maule region measured 8.8 in magnitude, making it one of the largest ever recorded.