At least eight people have died and 15 others were injured after a 15-foot tsunami hit the coast of Chile following an earthquake in the Pacific Ocean Wednesday night.
Several coastal towns were severely affected by flood damage. “Once again we must confront a powerful blow from nature,” Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said.
The earthquake could have ripple effects off the coast in Hawaii and parts of Southern California today, according to the National Tsunami Warning Center and the Pacific Tsunami Watch Center, but is not likely to cause any damage on land.
The earthquake clocked in at 8.3 on the richter scale. It was felt as far away as Buenos Aires in Argentina, according to the BBC, which is close to 700 miles away from the Pacific Ocean. In 2010, an 8.8 magnitude earthquake killed 500 people and destroyed more than 200,000 homes in Chile.
Tomorrow is Chile's Independence Day, commemorating Chile's independence from Spain. The Chilean President usually kicks off the Fiestas Patrias with an official fonda, or celebration, but La Tercera reports that the government won't be involved this year as they deal with the fallout of the disaster.