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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Powerful Earthquake Strikes Near Chile, Generating a Tsunami -- Temblor Leads to at Least Five Deaths; Tsunami Warning Issued for Entire Pacific Coast of South America -- By Robert Kozak and Ryan Dube, The Wall Street Journal

LIMA, Peru—A powerful earthquake struck off the northern coast of Chile late Tuesday, leading to at least five deaths, and prompting Chilean officials to evacuate the country's northern coast after a tsunami was generated. 

The quake was measured at magnitude 8.2 by the U.S. Geological Survey and Chile's National Earthquake Center. A tsunami warning was issued for the entire Pacific coast of South America though authorities later downgraded the tsunami threat to a minor danger.

Chile's interior minister, Rodrigo Peñailillo, said five people had died following the temblor, attributing the deaths to heart attacks or crushing, the Associated Press reported.

A wave measuring about six feet washed ashore in the port city of Iquique, according to Mahmud Aleuy, Chile's deputy interior minister. He said officials had no reports of injuries or major damage so far, though local radio reported a few fires. Iquique, with some 180,000 residents, sits some 59 miles from the quake's epicenter. 

Chile deployed armed forces to Iquique after some 300 inmates took advantage of the chaos to flee a women's prison, according to Chile's Interior Minister Rodrigo Peñailillo. He said the tsunami alert would last for at least another six hours.
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