February 27, 2010

This is horrible:

A devastating magnitude 8.8 earthquake struck Chile early Saturday, toppling homes, collapsing bridges and spawning a tsunami that threatened every nation around the Pacific Ocean — roughly a quarter of the globe.

Chileans near the epicenter were tossed about as if shaken by a giant. It was the strongest earthquake to hit the country in 50 years and one of the strongest ever measured anywhere. President-elect Sebastian Pinera said more than 120 people died and the toll could climb higher.

Local radio reported up to 150 could have been killed or hurt in a collapsed 14-story building in the hard-hit Concepcion, where firemen were working to put out fires throughout the city. One fire was in the science department in the local university.

Chile was the site of the strongest earthquake ever recorded -- a 9.5 shaker in 1960 -- and its infrastructure is reasonably well prepared for a quake. Hopefully, the death toll will not climb too much higher.

Meanwhile, they're watching carefully for a possible tsunami in Hawaii.

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