Pacific under tsunami threat after massive 8.8 quake strikes Chile
By ROLANDO SANTOS, BRIAN BYRNES AND PATTY LANE - CNN
Added: Sat, 27 Feb 2010 00:00:00 UTC
A massive magnitude 8.8 earthquake rocked Chile early Saturday, killing at least 122 people and triggering tsunami warnings for the entire Pacific basin.
Numerous tsunami waves have been reported in the Pacific, with one reaching as high as 7.7 feet in the central Chile coastal town of Talcahuano, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.
Sirens sounded at 6 a.m. Friday across Hawaii, warning people of a possible tsunami and telling people in coastal areas to evacuate.
"They're going to sound the sirens to air on the side of caution and make sure there's enough time to get people out of the evacuation zones, which are the coastal areas that may be affected," Brian Shiro of the Pacific Tsuanmi Warning Center said.
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said she expected the death toll in her country to rise.
"We are taking all the necessary measures at this time," she said.
"I would like to offer my condolences to the families of the 122 people who lost their lives during the earthquake," said Chilean President-Elect Sebastian Pinera. "And by the way, the number of victims could get higher."
Officials did not give any information on the number of those injured. The full extent of the damage was not yet known, although there were reports of collapsed buildings and hundreds of people in the streets.
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