Earlier in the day, an earthquake of seismic magnitude 8.3 has led to the evacuation of over one million people and death of about eight people in Chile. The Chilean President, Michelle Bachlelet, declared a catastrophe zone in the coastal towns of Tongoy and Coquimbo and has mobilised the military to help civilians and prevent looting. Schools have also been shut down in several regions.
Chile rests on a convergent plate boundary that has the propensity to generate megathrusts. The quake has also sparked fears that tsunamis could occur across in the Pacific Ocean, affecting countries as far as Japan, New Zealand, Russia and the US- the states of California and Hawaii have already began issuing warnings.
This is coming 5 years after an earthquake hit Chile on Saturday 27 February, 2010 with seismic magnitude 8.8 that rocked the nation and left 525 dead and 25 people missing. Since then, various aftershocks have been felt but none with a magnitude as large as the previous one.