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Civil Defence warns of tsunami after 8.3 Chile earthquake

The Chatham Islands and New Zealand's entire east coast are on tsunami alert.

Thu, 17 Sep 2015

The Chatham Islands and New Zealand’s entire east coast are on tsunami alert following the deadly earthquake in Chile.

Civil Defence has warned people in the affected coastal areas to stay off beaches and out of the water.

It warned the first tsunami activity may reach New Zealand in the areas around the Chatham Islands at approximately 11pm.

The activity will continue for several hours. Waves of heights between 0.2m to 1m can be expected for much of the East Coast and Chatham Islands.

Chile was struck by an earthquake at approximately 7:54pm local time (10:54am NZ time), which was 130 kilometres northwest of Iquique at a depth of 8.4 kilometres.

It was initially measured at a magnitude of 7.9 by the US Geological Survey but later upgraded to 8.3.

Chile is expected to face waves along its coast of up to 3m.

Five people have been confirmed dead and more than one million have been evacuated from their homes throughout the country.

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Civil Defence warns of tsunami after 8.3 Chile earthquake
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