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Chilean Earthquake Leaves Millions in Chaos

09-18-2015
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Cities along the coast of Chile are disaster zones Friday after Wednesday's huge 8.3 earthquake.

The powerful quake killed at least 12 people and likely caused billions of dollars in damage.

There are serious structural damages to homes close to the epicenter of the earthquake in the town of Illapel.

As large tsunami waves were also observed along the Chilean coast, many were concerned that it would do even greater damage. In the city of Coquimbo, a wave was measured at more than 15 feet, according to the U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center.

There were no casulties because residents evacuated before waves started hitting the coastline, but Coquimbo Mayor Cristian Galleguillos reported that the city did lose power.

A tsunami advisory was in effect as far as Japan, Hawaii, and California. New Zealand, which is some 6,000 miles away from the quake's epicenter, was on guard for possible tsunami waves as well.

At least 15 aftershocks of magnitude 4.9 or higher rattled residents in the area around the first quake's epicenter.

Fabrizio Guzman, emergency communications manager in Chile for World Vision, said the earthquake hit during rush hour, causing traffic chaos that left many people stuck in the streets as they tried to get home.

The people of Chile are no strangers to earthquakes. Since 1973, Chile has had more than a dozen quakes of magnitude 7.0 and above.

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