- Chile quake death toll hits 122 - TV
- Powerful 8.8 quake in Chile brings tsunami warning
- Powerful earthquake hits Chile
- Easter Island may be flooded by tsunami
Ecuador announced that it will evacuate the residents of the Galapagos Islands to a hill due to a tsunami threat, Latin American media reported Saturday.
An 8.8-magnitude earthquake hit Chile in the early hours of Saturday. The tremor occurred some 89 kilometers (55.3 miles) to the north of Chile's second largest city Concepcion, some 341 kilometers (212 miles) from the capital of Santiago. The death toll is estimated at over 120.
Officials have reiterated a warning for the Hawaiian Islands as they are likely to be hit by the tsunami, where evacuation sirens were scheduled to begin sounding at 6 a.m. local time [16:00 GMT].
The evacuation of residents to higher grounds on the Hawaiian Islands has already begun and authorities have closed all of the beaches. Buses are cruising the streets and picking people up free of charge to deliver them to safer zones. The first of many tsunami waves is expected to hit Hawaii shortly after 11:00 a.m. local time [21:00 GMT].
The tsunami wave (or waves) is expected to have a height of approximately 16 feet and each wave will last from five to fifteen minutes.
Indonesia and the Philippines have also been placed under a tsunami advisory, with the Philippine meteorological agency saying the tsunami may strike the eastern part of the archipelago within a few hours after the tsunami passes Hawaii.
Some 50 nations have been placed under a tsunami advisory. Areas of concern are the Hawaiian Islands, French Polynesia, Australia, and Japan. Russia's Far Eastern region was also advised, but local emergency authorities have stated that the region is in no danger. Peru has called off a tsunami warning.
The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean 972 km (600 miles) west of Ecuador with a population of some 30,000.
BUENOS AIRES/MOSCOW, February 27 (RIA Novosti)
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