Feb 27, 2010

Magnatude 8.8 quake hits Chile

The Globe and Mail reports:

A devastating magnitude-8.8 earthquake struck Chile early Saturday, shattering buildings and bridges, killing at least 122 people and setting off a tsunami that threatened every nation around the Pacific Ocean — roughly a quarter of the globe.

The photo shows vehicles damaged after the collapse of an overhead portion of a road in Santiago.

Chilean President Michele Bachelet declared a “state of catastrophe” in central Chile.

“We have had a huge earthquake, with some aftershocks,” President Bachelet said from an emergency response centre. She urged Chileans not to panic.

In the 2 1/2 hours following the 90-second magnitude 8.8 earthquake, the U.S. Geological Survey reported 11 aftershocks, five of them measuring 6.0 or above.

Officials in Japan and Australia warned a tsunami from the earthquake was likely to hit Asian, Australian and New Zealand shores within 24 hours.