8.3M Earthquake Shakes Chile, Prompts Pacific Tsunami Warnings
On September 16, an 8.3M earthquake struck off the coast of Chile, triggering local landslides and tsunami warnings across the Pacific (CEDIM, NOAA). The quake’s epicenter was located 46 kilometers west of Illapel, Chile, and the media reports that shaking was felt as far away as Buenos Aires, Argentina (ECHO, Reuters). According to reports, the region of Coquimbo has been the most affected, and the government has declared a “state of emergency” (Reuters).
Evacuations of coastal areas in Chile began promptly after the earthquake, with an estimated 1 million people being evacuated (ONEMI, ReliefWeb). In Coquimbo, tsunami waves measured 15 feet; and across the Pacific, waves at Hilo, Hawaii, were measured at 3 feet; 4.5 feet in Nuku Hiva, Marquesas; and 1.2 feet in Owenga, New Zealand (for more information on tsunami wave heights, visit PTWC).
Currently, no tsunami warnings, advisories, or watches remain in effect, and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reports that “the tsunami threat from this earthquake has now mostly passed” (PTWC Advisory #27).
This Week in Hazards
- Tropical Storm Vamco made landfall along the coasts of Vietnam’s Quang Nam and Quang Ngai provinces on September 14 (ECHO). Though Vamco was short-lived, forming in the South China Sea on September 13 and dissipating over Thailand on September 15, it brought heavy rainfall and strong winds as it moved inland, impacting central Vietnam, as well as parts of Laos and Thailand (NASA).
- Seasonal drought conditions have fueled wildfires in Colombia which have burned through more than 77,000 hectares of pasture land in several departments (ReliefWeb). In the department of Tolima, where wildfires have affected more than 12,000 hectares of dry forests, pastures, and crops, a “public calamity” was declared due to high temperatures and drought conditions in 47 municipalities (PAHO).
Current Hazard Warnings
Tropical Cyclone: Krovanh (Western Pacific)
Flood: Vietnam, Myanmar, Sierra Leone, West Africa
Wildfire: Colombia, Ecuador, Canada (British Columbia), United States (Montana, California, Washington)
Drought: Central America, Caribbean Islands, United States (Western), Ethiopia
Biomedical: West Africa
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