8.2 Earthquake Hits Off Chile, Tsunami Warning Issued
Credit: Alvaro Farfan
April 1, 2014

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A massive magnitude 8.0 earthquake off the coast of Chile, near the mining port of Iquique, has sparked a tsunami warning for all of Latin America's Pacific coast, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

"An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines near the epicenter within minutes and more distant coastlines within hours," it said.

Chile immediately requested the "preventive evacuation" of its northern coastline, the country's ONEMI emergency office said on its website.

The earthquake hit an area that has been rocked by numerous quakes over the past two weeks.

Al Jazeera's Lucia Newman, reporting from the Chilean capital Santiago, said there was no information about any casualties or any damage.

"What we've been seeing on national TV is people running from the beach," Newman said. "They've been warned about a tsunami. That's the biggest concern for now."

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