A powerful earthquake hit Chile’s Northern coast Wednesday night, killing at least three people in a quake that could be felt as far away as Buenos Aires, Argentina, according to Reuters.
The earthquake’s initial magnitude was updated to 8.3 from 7.9, one of the largest earthquakes to hit the area in recent years.t
“Once again we’re having to deal with another harsh blow from nature. Unfortunately we’ve received information that as of now we are certain three people are confirmed dead,” Chile President Michelle Bachelet said in a televised statement.
Authorities issued a tsunami alert for the Chile’s entire coast. The quake injured a number of people and caused damage to buildings and houses. Waves of up to 15 feet pounded Chile’s coastal town of Coquimbo, according to Reuters.
“We’re going through a really grave situation with the tsunami. We have residential neighborhoods that have flooded …. the ocean has reached the (Coquimbo) downtown area,” Coquimbo Mayor Cristian Galleguillos said, according to Reuters.
One person killed was a 25-year-old woman killed by a falling wall in Illapel, a coastal town about 30 miles from where the quake hit, according to The Guardian. At least 20 others had been injured.
Hawaii and coastal area of California were also under tsunami watch on Wednesday night, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service Pacific Tsunami Warning Center and the National Weather Service, respectively.
The Honolulu Department of Emergency Management said tsunami waves could reach the island between 2:30 a.m. and 3 a.m. local time Thursday.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported Wednesday night that tsunami waves could affect countries totaling in the 30s, mostly in near Central and South America and Asia.