An 8.8 earthquake, 100 times more powerful than Haiti, struck Chile early Saturday morning, causing a massive amount of destruction, fallen buildings and at least 140 deaths. A Tsunami warning has been issued for several countries and states, including the coasts of Hawaii and California.
Since the earthquake hit on Saturday morning, a large wave has already caused the deaths of 3 people and several others still missing on the island of Juan Fernandez, 400 miles off the coast of Chile.
Unlike Haiti, Chile has suffered earthquakes before, and has a disaster plan they began implementing just hours after the quake. An organized effort is underway to find and save survivors and recover the dead. However, aftershocks, at least 40 so far, continue to impair the efforts and may contribute to additional fatalities and devastation. In spite of relief and recovery, the country is still in need of water, food and medical supplies.
As reported by CNN, “The capital lost electricity and basic services, including water and telephones. Bachelet, Chile’s president, said regional hospitals had suffered damage; some were evacuated. A major bridge connecting northern and southern Chile was rendered inoperable, and the Santiago airport was shut down for at least the next 24 hours.”
President Obama issued a statement offering U.S. help in recovery and rescue if needed.
According to CNN.com, People in Hawaii were evacuating coastal areas, filling sandbags and stocking up on essential supplies in preparation for the Chile quake-triggered tsunami.
Sirens sounded early Saturday morning across Hawaii, warning people of a possible tsunami and telling people to in coastal areas to evacuate, hours after a 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck Chile.
Grocery stores are being bombarded with shoppers preparing for hours or possible days away from home in emergency shelters or the houses of friends. After several hours, the Tsunami warning was lifted.
Again, social networking sites Twitter and Facebook continue to connect Chile residents to people from around the world. Click on the links below to follow updates on the Tsunami warnings on Twitter and The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center:
The earthquake left several people searching for loved ones and family members.