One of the world’s most powerful earthquakes in a century battered Chile on Saturday, at 3:34 am local time. According to Chile’s interior minister, at least 214 people are now known to have been killed.
Buildings caught fire, bridges collapsed and debris blocked streets across swathes of central Chile, but the initial death toll was relatively low from a quake packing many times more power than the one that devastated Haiti, January 12th according to Reuters’ report.
A 15-storey building collapsed in Concepcion (see the photos below), the closest major city to the epicenter, and overturned cars lay scattered below a fallen overpass in the capital Santiago. Telephone and power lines went down, making it difficult to assess the full extent of the damage and loss of life.
The earthquake also triggered a Tsunami which is right now propagating across the Pacific Ocean, due to arrive in Hawaii in hours (around 11:00 am local time). The severity of the Tsunami is still not known, but alerts are being issued across the Pacific.