6 dead in 8.2 magnitude earthquake off Chilean coast - Tucson News Now

6 dead in 8.2 magnitude earthquake off Chilean coast

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An 8.2 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Chile Tuesday night. (Source: USGS/CNN) An 8.2 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Chile Tuesday night. (Source: USGS/CNN)

(RNN) - Six are dead after an 8.2-magnitude earthquake hit the coast of northern Chile Tuesday, according to the governor of the Iquique region of Chile.

Tsunami warnings were issued in the Pacific after the temblor, but those expired just after midnight Wednesday, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

Hawaii, however, remained under a tsunami advisory Wednesday

The deaths of four men and one woman are being attributed to heart attacks and crushing, said Rodrigo Penailillo, Chile's interior minister.

A sixth death was reported by the Associated Press Wednesday morning.

The damage is expected to be assessed after dawn breaks Wednesday.

The USGS revised the magnitude to 8.2 from its original stated magnitude of 8.0.

The quake hit about 59 miles northwest of Iquique, Chile at 8:46 p.m. local time and was followed by a series of aftershocks.

Chile's President Michelle Bachelet declared a state of emergency for the region where the quake occurred.

"The fact is, we will know the balance of the damage as time goes by and when we are able to see the areas in the light of day," she said.

More than a dozen aftershocks were recorded by Chile's Centro Sismologico Nacional.

The Associated Press reports the area appears to have escaped major damage. However, 300 inmates escaped from a women's prison in Iquique.

The area had experienced nearly 100 smaller quakes in the past few weeks, including a 6.7 magnitude quake on March 16.

The epicenter is located in a Pacific subduction zone, where the Nazca plate sinks beneath the South American plate.

Experts expect an even stronger temblor in the future.

Mark Simons, professor at the Seismological Laboratory of the U.S. Geological Survey, said Tuesday night that he expects a larger quake in Chile at some point.

"You can make an estimate of the size of earthquake that we expect here," he said. "We expect about another 8.8, 8.9 earthquake here sometime in the future. Could be tomorrow, could be in 50 years, we do not know when its going to occur. But the keypoint here is that this magnitude 8.2 is not the large earthquake we were expecting for this area. We're actually still expecting potentially an even larger earthquake."

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