SANTIAGO, Chile – A devastating magnitude-8.8 earthquake struck Chile early Saturday, shattering buildings and bridges, killing at least 78 people and setting off a tsunami that threatened every nation around the Pacific Ocean — roughly a quarter of the globe.
Experts warned that a tsunami could strike anywhere in the Pacific, and Hawaii could face its largest waves since 1964 starting at 11:19 a.m. (4:19 p.m. EST, 2119 GMT), according to Charles McCreery, director of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.
Tsunami waves were likely to hit Asian, Australian and New Zealand shores within 24 hours of the earthquake. The U.S. West Coast and Alaska, too, were threatened.
The largest earthquake ever recorded struck the same area of Chile on May 22, 1960. The magnitude-9.5 quake killed 1,655 people and left 2 million homeless. The tsunami that it caused killed people in Hawaii, Japan and the Philippines and caused damage to the west coast of the United States.
It was the strongest quake to hit Chile since a magnitude-9.5 temblor rocked southern Chile in 1960. Together with an ensuing tsunami, it killed at least 1,716 people.
"Too Soon from the Cave, Too Far from the Stars"