Tsunami warning lifted after new 7.8 magnitude quake rocks Chile

People walk along a cracked road in Iquique, northern Chile, on April 2, 2014, a day after a powerful 8.2-magnitude earthquake hit off Chile’s Pacific coast. A second powerful quake, of 7.8 magnitude, has hit the same region. Image credit: dna/AFP

By Samyukta Maindarkar | dna Webdesk

A second powerful earthquake, this one of 7.8 magnitude, has struck off Chile’s northern coast, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) has said.

The quake, said to be high magnitude aftershock, the largest of a series of them, following a powerful 8.2 magnitude quake that struck a day earlier, on Tuesday morning, in the same area. It was located 12 miles (19 km) south of the port of Iquique.

Also read: In pictures – People camp on streets after two powerful earthquakes strike Chile

A tsunami warning was issued, but has now been lifted. According to a member of the national disaster relief agency ONEMI, the first tsunami waves have that began lashing the coast were about 2.4 feet (0.7 metres) high. A preventative evacuation of the coastal area has been ordered, officials said. Thousands of Chileans had begun returning after being evacuated following Tuesday’s quake.

Reports say newly sworn in Chilean president Michelle Bachelet​ was evacuated from her hotel to higher ground in the northern city of Arica. She was assessing damage in the region far north of the capital Santiago. ​

This quake had earlier been reported as measuring 7.4 on the Richter Scale. No immediate fatalities or major damage from this new quake have been reported so far.

President Bachelet had declared northern Chile, including the provinces of Arica and Parinacota, and Tarapaca, a disaster area after the first quake.

Video credit: AFP

The tremors are reported to have been felt as far inland as Bolivia, and have sparked evacuation warnings along the Pacific Coast of South America, and even into Central America. Peru has issued a tsunami alert.

Five people were killed in a Tuesday’s massive earthquake, which measured 8.2 on the Richter Scale and triggered tsunami waves.

Also read: Tsunami waves hit Japan after 8.2 magnitude earthquake off Chile

Also Read: Nearly 300 inmates used Chile quake to escape prison, many later surrendered

With inputs from agencies.

*Originally published on dnaindia.com on April 3, 2014