UPDATE: Tsunami watch canceled for Costa Rica after magnitude-8.2 earthquake strikes near coast of Chile, kills 6

April 2, 2014

Around 8:45 p.m. Tuesday a tsunami watch was called off in Costa Rica by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. Minor tsunamis have been reported in Chile’s already, where a magnitude-8.2 earthquake hit offshore this evening. The earthquake killed fix people, but the country escaped major damage, according to the AP. The tremor was powerful enough to be felt in Bolivia and Perú.

The USGS said the magnitude-8.2 earthquake was recorded off the coast of Iquique, Chile, in a shallow part of the seabed, about 10 kilometers deep, according to a Reuters report. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center stated that “an earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines near the epicenter within minutes and more distant coastlines within hours.”

Walter Fonseca, head of operations for the National Emergency Commission in Costa Rica, had told La Nación that “there is no order for evacuation anywhere on the Pacific coast,” and the watch merely served as a precaution that the country would monitor.

Chile experiences frequent earthquakes. Hundreds have shaken Chile’s far-northern coast in the past two weeks, before the big one hit offshore Tuesday, the AP wrote.

A magnitude-8.8 earthquake and a tsunami that followed killed more than 500 people in 2010 and caused extensive damage. The strongest earthquake on record, a magnitude-9.5, shook Chile in 1960 and killed more than 5,000 people.

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