1M Evacuated After Chile Quake
Pacific nations warned of possible tsunamis
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2015 5:23 AM CDT
Updated Sep 17, 2015 6:33 AM CDT
Debris from a destroyed house sits on a street in Illapel, Chile.   (AP Photo/Luis Hidalgo)
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(Newser) – It was a terrifying night for many people in Chile, where around a million people along the country's 2,690-mile coast fled their homes after an 8.3-magnitude earthquake. Waves reached 15 feet in some areas and many homes were badly damaged, though few injuries and only five deaths were reported, the New York Times reports. The quake caused tsunami warnings as far away as New Zealand, Russia, Hawaii, and California, the Guardian reports. The US warnings have been downgraded to advisories, though officials have warned people not to swim, surf, or even get too close to the water this morning. This National Tsunami Warning Center map shows the tsunami forecast across the Pacific.

Away from the coast in Chile, many people spent the night sleeping in the streets, fearing major aftershocks, reports the BBC, which notes that the earthquake struck as many Chileans were heading to the coast for a week of Independence Day celebrations. "Once again we have to confront a tough blow from nature," President Michelle Bachelet said in a TV address after the quake struck, per the Times, which notes that the rapid coastal evacuation was part of protocols put in place after an 8.8-magnitude quake in 2010 killed more than 500 Chileans.