Mittwoch, 2. April 2014


Million flee homes on Chile coast after earthquake triggers tsunami alert

The exodus claimed the lives of six but when the waves came they were a mere 6-feet tall 



Almost a million people abandoned their homes overnight and fled from a swathe of northern Chile after a tsunami warning was issued following an 8.2-magnitude earthquake.
The port cities of Iquique and Arica were evacuated after warnings that followed the quake, the epicentre of which was some 50 miles away.
Thousands were alerted by alarms and 13,000 text messages sent by the Chilean authorities over fears that the major tremor could trigger huge waves along the west coast of Latin America late on Tuesday evening.
Families took refuge in safety zones including football stadiums while footage showed orderly queues of traffic leaving the area.>
But after putting authorities as far away as Hawaii and California on alert, the tsunami warning was lifted hours after the quake that occurred at around 8.45pm local time on Tuesday. 
The tremor and a series of aftershocks produced waves of six feet but damage was limited. Four men and two women were either crushed to death or suffered a fatal heart attack in the exodus, according to the Interior Ministry.
In the confusion caused by the two-minute quake, some 300 prisoners escaped from a women’s jail in Iquique.
The Interior Ministry said that the armed forces were “coordinating” with police to find the escapees.
Only 20 of the fugitives had been recaptured by yesterday.
Chilean president Michelle Bachelet declared the region a disaster zone and cancelled her previous engagements to visit affected parts.
She said the government had “taken the necessary steps to protect lives and personal property, and the government will continue to work as long as needed to confront this emergency and to protect our citizens”.