Chile: Tsunami warning lifted after earthquake


Chile lifted its tsunami warning on Thursday and Pacific islands experienced only minor waves, hours after a 8.3 magnitude earthquake had led to fears of massive swells.

“The tsunami warning is lifted for all national territory,” the Chilean government’s national emergency office said in a tweet.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) had issued a threat message saying hazardous tsunami waves were forecast for some coasts. “Tsunami waves have been observed,” it said in the latests update on Thursday.

The PTWC said the first waves were arriving on the eastern town of Rikitea, on Mangareva island in French Polynesia, but they were only 28 centimetres high. It was the early hours of the morning in Rikitea, meaning few people would be on the beaches.

Much of the nation’s population lives in low-lying coastal areas at risk of flooding and there were concerns waves could rise to between one and three metres.

However, even that is small when compared to the 2011 quake in Japan in which waves reached 14-metres in height above sea level. In some areas, such as Hawaii, initial fears of a large tsunami were lowered, the PTWC said in a update.

“However, sea level changes and strong currents may occur along all coasts,” it said, warning that larges swells may continue.

On Chile’s Easter Island, around 3,5ookm (2,174 miles) from the mainland, residents received a tsunami alert. One tourist hotel, the Puku Vai, said on Twitter that guests were safe.