Chile Earthquake: Hawaii and California Under Tsunami Advisory After Deadly Tremor That Forced 1M to Evacuate

An 8.3 magnitude quake struck off the coast of Chile.

September 16, 2015, 5:48 AM

— -- A massive earthquake struck off the coast of Chile Wednesday, killing at least eight people forcing 1 million to evacuate.

The strong tremor also prompted officials to issue tsunami advisories in Hawaii and California.

American were monitoring the 8.3 magnitude quake to see if tsunami waves would affect the West Coast of the United States and Hawaii.

Officials said that based on the preliminary parameters of the quake, at 12:54 p.m. local time near Central Chile, "widespread hazardous tsunami waves are possible."

According to the Associated Press, the quake swayed buildings and sent people into the streets of the country, where a tsunami alert was in effect. Tsunami warnings were canceled for all of Chile early Thursday.

Chilean officials said that at least eight people were killed in the quake. There were also dozens of aftershocks ranging from magnitude 4.9 to 7.0 followed the massive, initial tremor.

The officials said the quake sparked landslides and caused roofs and walls to collapse.

Tsunami waves of more than 10 feet were observed in Coquimbo, Chile, north of Santiago. Forecasters predicted minor flooding of beach and harbor areas as well as strong and unusual currents that could persist for several hours.

The NWS said it was monitoring the situation to see if Hawaii, the west coast and British Columbia, Canada, would be affected by the tsunami wave.

In Hawaii, forecasters said that "a major tsunami is not expected" but that "sea level changes and strong currents may occur along all coasts."

A tsunami advisory was issued for California from Onofre State Beach, south of Los Angeles, to north of San Luis Obispo.

Tsunami waves were expected to start affecting those areas around 4:45 a.m. PDT.

According to the weather service, "a tsunami capable of producing strong currents or waves dangerous to persons in or very near the water is expected or is already occurring," the agency said in a bulletin.

The NWS said the areas "should not expect widespread inundation," but that the danger might persist for many hours.

An advisory was also in effect for American Samoa with waves arriving around 1:17 a.m., the NWS said.

This is a developing story. Please check back in for updates.

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