3 April 2014: Chile – Earthquake and Aftershocks

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• Following the major 8.2 M earthquake on 1 April, an additional earthquake of 7.6 M (depth: 40 km) hit the same area at 02.43 UTC on 3 April. Its epicentre was on land (close to the coast), around 20 km south of Iquique. USGS-PAGER: approx. 176 000 people were exposed to “Very Strong” shaking. PTWC issued a Tsunami Warning for Chile and Peru. Chilean Authorities ordered preventive evacuations in Arica and Parinacota, Tarapaca and Antofagasta regions. A wave of 0.75 m reached Iquique 12 min after the earthquake. The Alert was cancelled at a national level two hours later (ONEMI).

• ONEMI reports several power cuts and communication interruptions in Arica and Parinacota; no other significant damage by this earthquake was reported as of the morning of 3 April. The series of strong aftershocks continues.

• The initial assessment of the consequences of the 8.2 M earthquake that hit Chile on 1 April shows that preparedness among authorities and communities has contributed to saving lives. As of 06.00 UTC on 3 April, latest information available indicates 6 people killed, around 2 000 houses damaged in Alto Hospicio near Iquique, some power and utility network interruptions in Arica, Tarapaca and Antofagasta, minor flooding by tsunami in Iquique and a small number of landslides affecting roads. A total of 972 457 people were evacuated from coastal regions during the tsunami alert.

• Since the last earthquake of similar magnitude in Chile in 2010, ECHO, through its DIPECHO programme, has been providing assistance to prepare communities, strengthen the Early Warning System and the capacity of local authorities to prepare for and manage the associated risks of earthquakes and tsunamis.

Sources: ECHO, GDACS (1, 2) , USGS (1, 2), ONEMI, PTWC (1, 2)