8.2 Magnitude Quake Strikes Off Chile's Coast

High waves and potential tsunamis could affect nations bordering the Pacific all along Central and South America.
Posted at 11:41 PM, Apr 01, 2014

A magnitude 8.2 earthquake has struck off the northern coast of Chile, and the resulting tsunami is already affecting countries in both South and Central America.

Social media users provided some of the earliest images of the powerful quake. It hit just after 8 p.m. eastern time. (Via Instagram / iamcamiila)

This video shows Chileans evacuating buildings shortly afterward. As of 11:30 eastern, two deaths had been reported by local outlets. (Via Instagram /p3lusillo)

The quake struck off Chile's coast near a mining town called Iquique. The National Weather Service says it was only around 6 miles deep, which is relatively shallow for an earthquake. (Via Google)

Now, Chile's coast is not far from where the Nazca and South American tectonic plate come together, meaning the area sees a good bit of seismic activity.

"This is obviously a region that has had a lot of problems with earthquakes in the past. It's something they're used to, but 8 magnitude is very big, is a massive earthquake." (Via CNN)

This map from the National Weather Service shows when areas bordering the Pacific can expect high waves. Nations throughout Central America as well as Mexico have been placed on a Tsunami Watch.