Magnitude 8.3 earthquake strikes off the coast of Chile

Publié: 17 septembre 2015 7:28 CET

A 8.3 magnitude earthquake struck Chile at 7.56pm hours (local time) this Wednesday, 46 km from the town of Illapel (northern Chile) and 25 km depth.

The National Emergency Office of the Ministry of Interior (ONEMI), issued a red alert to evacuate after a tsunami alert in coastal areas. The first waves have already hit in some areas of the coast, and further waves are expected in the coming hours. Communications were affected in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, but is being restored. Some northern areas have experienced power cuts.

The population is evacuating in an orderly and organized manner, according to the first information from ONEMI and the Chilean Red Cross. At the moment there is no major damage reported, but the Mayor of Illapen reported one dead by an addobe house that collapse, and other in Maipu by heart attack. These provisional figures are expected to be revised as a full assessment of damage is carried out.

ONEMI has called an emergency meeting to coordinate assessments and response. The Chilean Red Cross is actively participating.

There may be further damage from waves and aftershocks from the earthquake.

National Society actions

  • Alert branches at the north of the country.
  • Support evacuation actions.
  • Damage assessments and needs analysis conducted by response teams of the branches.

The National Headquarters has activated the crisis room and are monitoring and coordinating the response.