Chile Earthquake: First Tsunami Waves ‘May Not Be The Largest’ And ‘May Go On For Hours’

The huge Chile earthquake has triggered a first batch of tsunami waves, hitting the shore of Coquimbo, a Chilean seaside located within 100 miles of the epicenter. The waves triggered by the 8.3-magnitude earthquake in Chile have been registered to exceed 14 feet, according to Wired. The first waves came 90 minutes after the earthquake has struck Chile at 22:54 UTC (7:54 pm local time).

As reported in the Inquisitr, tsunami warnings have been raised in California and Hawaii following the Chile earthquake.

Stuart Seto, a weather specialist from the National Weather Service, warned that more waves are expected to arrive.

“Anybody is going to be susceptible to this. It’s not like a storm — where it only affects a particular area or southwest-facing beaches. This is like a very long wave. But the first wave may not be the largest. It may go on for many hours.”

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A tsunami advisory was issued right after the 8.3-magnitude earthquake hit the coasts of Chile. As reported in the LA Times, the advisory extends from San Onofre State Beach in San Clemente, about 55 miles north of San Diego, to Ragged Point, about 50 miles north of San Luis Obispo, according to the National Tsunami Warning Center.

Anyone in the coastal areas is advised to stay away from the beaches, marinas, and harbors, all of which were ordered to close at 4:00 a.m. by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Those located along the Pacific shore off Chile, extending from Puerto Aysen to Arica, are urged to evacuate and get to higher ground.

National Weather officials predicted the first waves to hit the California coast around 4:46 a.m. local time in Newport Beach and then the Port of Los Angeles a minute later. The tsunami is expected to strike Santa Barbara about 5:06 a.m. and Port San Luis by 5:10 a.m.

NOAA’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has predicted that the wave heights may exceed 36 feet along the coast of Chile, with smaller occurrences along coastal areas of the Pacific Ocean. Areas outside of Chile that are most at risk are comprised within a group of over 100 islands in the middle of the south Pacific. Tsunami waves may reach up from three to nine feet in those areas.

The initial wave triggered by the Chile earthquake is expected to hit Hawaii at 3:11 a.m. local time. The threat there is relatively smaller, but anyone staying there is still urged to stay away from the shore.

The earthquake in Chile was followed by three aftershocks, all of which registered above 6 in magnitude, according to the U.S. Geological Service.

Since the huge Chile earthquake last night, five people have been reported dead and one million forced to flee from their homes.

[Photo by earthquake.usgs.gov]