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A massive earthquake, the largest on the planet this year, struck near the central coast of Chile at 6:54 pm today.
Three persons are confirmed dead in the powerful, 8.3 magnitude quake. One, a 26-year-old woman, died when a wall fell on her, another, a 20-year-old man, died when his truck fell into the sea and the third, an 86-year-old man in the port city of Maipu, died from a heart attack thought to be directly caused by the earthquake.
That 8.3 magnitude quake, located 29 miles west of Illapel, Chile, was followed by several others. A 6.4 magnitude quake occurred five minutes later seven miles further west. A 7.0 struck at 7:18 pm 16 miles west of the city. Then, at 8:41 pm, a third, at a 6.4 magnitude struck 40 miles to the northwest of the Chilean city. At least nine other quakes from 4.9 to 6.3 magnitude have also occurred. More aftershocks are sure to follow for days.
A tsunami warning has been issued and people are being warned to move away from that country’s coast.
The Tsunami warning center has issued warnings for the coasts of Mexico, Ecuador, and Peru. Warnings have also been issued for as far away as Japan.
A Tsunami warning has also been issued for the state of Hawaii, that warning says that if a wave is generated, it would reach that island state at approximately 3:11 am Hawaiian time.
Chile has a history of powerful quakes, in 2010, a 8.8 magnitude quake occurred in the same general area. In 1960, a 9.5 magnitude struck in the southern part of the country. The cause of the frequently powerful quakes is the thrust faulting of the Nazca and South American plates in the central part of the country.