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Massive 8.8 Quake Strikes Chile; Tsunami Warnings Issued


Above, cars overturned after a freeway collapsed near Santiago.

A magnitude 8.8 earthquake struck Chile overnight, causing untold damage. The death toll is at 78 , and climbing:

Quake2 "The earthquake, which hit just after 3 a.m. local time, was 64 times stronger than the one that devestated Haiti last month but was much deeper, likely making the number of casualities far fewer than those in the Caribbean nation. The minute-and-a-half-long quake was less than 100 miles north from the southwest coastal city of Concepcion, the second-largest city in Chile, but caused damage as far away as the capital Santiago nearly 200 miles away."

A 'State of Catastrophe' has been declared.

A tsunami warning has been issued for Easter Island and Hawaii. Expected arrival time in Hawaii would be 11:19 am HST.

Tsunami advisories have also been issued for the California coast.

You can watch coverage from Chile on UStream here.

ABC News adds: "The buildings in Chile are constructed to earthquake standards and therefore can sustain more of a jolt than those in other places. 'Everything is still standing,' said [tourist Ronald] Scott. 'The only things that are not broken were not nailed down in the house.' Elliot Yamin, a former contestant on 'American Idol,' had just finished performing at a music festival in Vina Del Mar, Chile, when he said the 'rumbling started.' 'At first, it was more of a kind of swaying back and forth and then it was a really fast kind of shaking,' said Yamin. In a sixth-floor hotel room, Yamin said he quickly moved to a doorway and then the hallway, and eventually got out of the building safely. Still, Yamin said he feared for his life."

Tsunami map below. Watch MSNBC's report, AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. I live in Santiago on a 17th floor.
    Holy shit, I was sleeping at 3.35 in the morning and 2 seconds later it felt as though the building was coming down from the shaking.
    Around 6 in the morning I came back to my appartment, and the goddamn aftershocks kept me with one eye open.
    Scary crap.
    Thanks for the coverage, Andy.

    Posted by: topher | Feb 27, 2010 9:34:38 AM

  2. Tragic. Let's see how it long it takes for the Christian Wrong to tell us what sort of revenge god is wreaking this time.

    Posted by: Sid | Feb 27, 2010 10:39:01 AM

  3. Scary stuff

    Posted by: KFLO | Feb 27, 2010 10:50:43 AM

  4. Wow. 8.8 is *huge*, and one and a half minutes is a REALLY long time for an earthquake to last! Chlieans are lucky their buildings are built to withstand the shaking. I have a feeling you are going to be just fine Topher, but all the same, best of luck to you.

    Posted by: peterparker | Feb 27, 2010 11:07:30 AM

  5. Holy crap. Hang in there Topher. Best of luck to you, and to everyone affected...

    Posted by: The Milkman | Feb 27, 2010 1:52:38 PM

  6. hi

    i was on a disco with a lot of people when the earthquake happened ,happily people doesnt get panic and we went out with order
    but my boyfriend was worried about his family he had to walk to his home, on the very dark night , without cell phones and no lights on streets i was so scare for him.
    he , me and our families are fine , but people are dead or without their houses
    but people are peacefully

    Posted by: benedict | Feb 27, 2010 5:04:51 PM

  7. Global warming...believe it!

    Peace, health and safety for everyone around the world.

    Posted by: Bayley | Feb 27, 2010 8:58:26 PM

  8. Hey, good thing there are other chileans reading this blog! :)
    And it's been the most exhausting day -- at least 50 aftershocks and some of them strong enough to make loud structural noise, which scares the crap out of me. And I feel so dizzy bc the swinging just won't stop!
    Thanks so much you guys for the good wishes!

    Posted by: Topher | Feb 27, 2010 10:32:12 PM

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