Animation shows tsunami waves from 8.2 quake moving across Pacific

Published On: Apr 02 2014 02:20:21 AM HST
Updated On: Apr 02 2014 02:25:16 AM HST

Geophysicists at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center show how tsunami waves travel thousands of miles across the open ocean using computer software known as RIFT, or real-time inundation forecasting of tsunamis.

The animation shows how the energy generated by Tuesday's powerful 8.2 earthquake off northern Chile will oscillate across the Pacific for more than 24 hours. 

Ewa Beach, Hawaii -

Geophysicists at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center show how tsunami waves travel thousands of miles across the open ocean using computer software known as RIFT, or real-time inundation forecasting of tsunamis.

The animation shows how the energy generated by Tuesday's powerful 8.2 earthquake off northern Chile will oscillate across the Pacific for more than 24 hours.  The quake triggered a tsunami advisory for Hawaii, which means swimmers, boaters and beachgoers should be aware of rapidly changing currents and tidal surges. The first waves are scheduled to arrive on Hawaiian shores at 3:24 a.m. Wednesday, but no coastal run-up is expected.

In Chile it was a much different story as the coastal town of Iquique, 59 miles from the epicenter of the quake, experienced at least one tsunami wave 6 feet high according to gauges monitored by PTWC staff. News reports from Chile indicate at least 6 people have died, but none of the fatalities are thought to be from a tsunami. Both Chile and Peru were placed under a tsunami warning, but that warning has since expired.

According the the U.S. Geological Survey, over 97,000 people experienced very strong shaking from Tuesday's quake and 638,000 experienced strong shaking.

The USGS said the earthquake was the result of thrust faulting at shallow depths near the Chilean coast. The location and mechanism of the earthquake are said to be consistent with "slip" on the primary plate boundary interface, or megathrust, between the Nazca and South America plates.

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