Wednesday, April 2, 2014

MASS SHOOTINGS: Soldier Opens Fire At Fort Hood, Texas - 4 Dead Including The Gunman; 14 Injured; Base On Lockdown!

April 02, 2014 - FORT HOOD, TEXAS, UNITED STATES - A shooting took place at the US military base at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas on Wednesday afternoon. Four people were confirmed dead including the gunman of a self-inflicted wound.

Reuters / III Corps Public Affairs/U.S. Army

Sources told CBS News that the shooter was a 34-year-old soldier named Ivan Lopez. While little is known about Spc. Lopez, sources told CBS the Wednesday shooting may have been motivated by a conflict with another soldier.

There had been multiple reports of a second shooter, though a US military official confirmed to KCEN-TV that Lopez had acted alone.

As many as fourteen people have reportedly been hospitalized. Three of the wounded have suffered critical injuries and were transported to Carl R. Darnall Medical Center and other area hospitals.

David Ross, a Fort Hood official, told The Washington Post that the base is “completely sealed” and that every building is being investigated.

“There is a confirmed shooting that occurred,” he said. “We’re still trying to identify what we have.”

KCEN-TV reported that a “possible description” of the suspect said the gunman was a white male driving a gray Toyota. Witnesses speculated that 20 shots were fired from a .45 pistol.

One soldier told KENS-5 in Texas that the first gunshots rang out around 4:35 p.m. near the outdoor motor pool but the gunman then ran into the medical building. The witness said it seemed like some kind of standoff had taken place, and that some people tried to flee by jumping over a seven-foot-high barbed wire fence.

Fort Hood soldiers watching the news from Fort Irwin. @dongomezjr

An estimated 90 police and military vehicles were at the scene two hours after the first shots, along with nearly two dozen ambulances and SWAT teams.

The gunman was initially believed to be inside the Medical Support Building, the suspect could be barricaded inside that area.

There were also reports of victims in the Battle Simulation Center on 65th and Warehouse.

The lockdown was lifted Wednesday night, allowing many families to reunite with loved ones who were either stuck in traffic on the way to the base or were waiting for loved ones to arrive there. The American Red Cross previously announced that it had opened a shelter with a capacity of 150 for families who may have had trouble returning to Fort Hood amid the confusion.

 WATCH:  Fort Hood Shooting - 'A third of US troops on meds, facing stress & suicides'.

The parking lot outside the base, where thousands of people come and go on a daily basis, quickly filled with family members of military personnel anxious for news on the situation. Local media reported that, along with fear and concern, a number of people were voicing frustration that another shooting appears to have taken place after Nidal Hasan, a US Army major and psychiatrist, fatally shot 13 people and injured more than 30 others on the base in 2009.

Speaking to a press pool in Chicago on Wednesday afternoon, US President Obama said he is “heartbroken” about the events at Fort Hood and promised “we will get to the bottom of what happened.”

The FBI had launched a manhunt for a former military recruit who told friends he was planning a “jihad” attack on Fort Hood, according to a Fox News report published Tuesday night. The FBI confirmed the report, although officials said the suspect had been interviewed and that he was not considered a threat. - RT.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: The Latest Incidents Across The United States - Large Amount Of Dead Fish Washing Ashore In The Presque Isle Bay, Pennsylvania; Over 9,000 Pounds Of Dead Fish Wash Ashore Along A Lake In Illinois; Thousands Of Dead Fish Washing Up On The Shores Of Chicago Area Lakes; And Harsh Winter Blamed For Dead Fish At Lakes Across Indiana!

April 02, 2014 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest incidents of mass fish die-offs across the United States:

Large Amount Of Dead Fish Washing Ashore In Presque Isle Bay, Pennsylvania

A lot of dead fish are starting to wash up along Presque Isle bay. But biologists say there is no reason to be alarmed.

It is a die off of gizzard shad, a fish very sensitive to cold weather. And often, large numbers of the fish die over the winter, then are pushed on shore when the ice melts on the bay.

Last year's kill was huge. Experts doubt there will be a repeat this spring. But they do expect more shad to be washing ashore in the coming days. They say the best advice is to stay away from the fish.

WATCH: Gizzard Shad Die Off in Presque Isle Bay.

Great Lakes Biologist Nate Irwin said, "I mean they are rotting fish. So obviously you don't want to be near them, touching them, or letting your dog play with them.

So just avoid them. They are just a natural part of the system."

The biggest problem created by the annual die off is the foul smell, especially when the weather warms up. - WSEE12.

Over 9,000 Pounds Of Dead Fish Wash Ashore Along A Lake In Illinois

It's a fish kill so massive that Citizen's Lake hasn't seen something like this in over 35 years. You can already see and smell the decay and as temperatures start warming up they say it's about to get a lot worse.

Over 9,000 pounds of fish suffocated underneath thick ice after this harsh winter. Ken Russell is a fisheries biologist with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources who's been taking care of this lake for over 50 years. 

He said this is a tragic year for the fish and anglers, but what you see now is only a fraction of the amount of fish that'll be rising to the surface, belly up.

"As the water warms the fish carcasses that are on the bottom will gradually bloat," said Russell. "Some of them will never come to the surface. But it'll be several week and it won't be a pleasant sight, which it obviously isn't a pleasant sight now."

Russell said logistically it'll be very difficult to remove the tons upon tons of rotting fish. 

But city officials are worried about the stench because a campground sits right across from the lake. For now, they're not sure if they'll have the manpower to remove all the fish carcasses and they may have to let most of the decompose

WATCH: Over 9,000 Pounds Of Fish Dead, Washing Up To Shore At Citizen's Lake In Monmouth, IL

"The word was 'wow'. I can't believe this," said Monmouth City Clerk Susan Trevor. "It's amazing to see and it's also very sad."

Susan Trevor said she hopes citizens and campers will be patient as they're trying to figure out a clean-up plan. 

Ken Russell said there isn't a health hazard with the dead fish because the lake isn't used for swimming or drinking water. He said by summertime all the dead fish should be gone and they'll be busy restocking. 

"You just let the carcasses decompose and the nutrients then go back into the food chain," said Russell. "Hopefully this won't happen again for many, many years." 

IL-DNR said it'll take about 2 years to repopulate Citizen's Lake, meaning fisherman and anglers alike won't be able to fish here for quite a while. 

IL-DNR said fish kills are normal on lakes and ponds this time of the year. It happens when light cannot go through the ice. This slows the growth of algae and plants that produce the oxygen. This is more likely to happen in shallow ponds compared to deeper ones. That's because deeper ponds have a greater volume of oxygen and are more likely to sustain fish. - KWQC.

Thousands Of Dead Fish Washing Up On Shores Of Chicago Area Lakes

By the thousands, fish are dying in the shallower man-made lakes of the Chicago area.

CBS 2's Mike Parker reports that the long, cold winter is to blame.

At sunset Tuesday night, two neighbors came to the edge of Lake Linden in Lindenhurst to get a first-hand look at the catfish, sunfish, pike and others that have washed up. The deaths are the result of the heavy ice cover that now persists into April.

"The sunlight's not able to penetrate through into the water and that reduces over time, the dissolved oxygen levels and that stresses the fish out and eventually if it gets low enough, the fish will die," said Mike Adam, senior biologist for the Lake County Health Department's lake management unit.

WATCH: Thousands Of Dead Fish Washing Up On Shores Of North Suburban Lakes.


Lake Linden is now a big draw for gulls and crows who peck through the ice to get at the growing number of fish carcasses in the water. Residents who live along the 31 acre lake are worried about the summer.

"It's very sad cause there's some really big fish, some big catfish that are out there, so it's kind of sad we're losing the big ones too," said Lindenhurst resident Kathy Gernady.

"It's another example of how harsh our winter was this year," said Adam.

If this fish kill goes on much longer and it might, the owners of these lakes will have to think about restocking for the future.

Experts say the brutal winter will not mean fewer mosquitos or ticks. - CBS Chicago.

Harsh Winter Blamed For Dead Fish At Lakes Across Indiana
Mud Lake in Chain O’ Lakes State Park. WANE Photo

Some northern Indiana lakes are seeing large numbers of Harsh winter blamed that wildlife officials blame on this winter's severe cold.

Fisherman Robert Schultz tells WSBT-TV he found some banks of Pike Lake near Warsaw covered with hundreds of dead gizzard shad.

WATCH: Dead fish discovered at Pike Lake.

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That's a species of fish that the Department of Natural Resources says is less tolerant of the freezing temperatures that hit the area over the last few months. The DNR has had reports of similar fish kills at other lakes, including Winona Lake on the other side of Warsaw.

While many of the dead shad have been eaten by birds or other fish, Schultz says he expects to see more.

Source: AP


PLANETARY TREMORS: Global Seismic Uptick - Strong Magnitude 6.0 Earthquake Rattles Panama! [MAPS+ESTIMATES]

April 02, 2014 - PANAMA - Nobody was reported injured after earthquake with a magnitude of 6.0 rattled Panama on Wednesday.

USGS earthquake location map.

The U.S. Geological Survey initially said the tremor had a magnitude of 6.2, but later downgraded its strength.

The quake came a day after Chile was hit by an 8.2 magnitude quake that killed six people and set off a tsunami with two-metre waves.

USGS earthquake shakemap intensity.

USGS earthquake uncertainty ratio map.

The Panama quake was centred about 61 km south of David, Panama, at a depth of 28 km.

Panama's head of emergency services, Arturo Alvarado, said there were no reports of damage or injuries but that schools and homes in the area were evacuated as a precaution. A USGS tweet said it had received citizens' reports of light and moderate shaking.  - CBC.

Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of the Caribbean Region and Vicinity

Extensive diversity and complexity of tectonic regimes characterizes the perimeter of the Caribbean plate, involving no fewer than four major plates (North America, South America, Nazca, and Cocos). Inclined zones of deep earthquakes (Wadati-Benioff zones), ocean trenches, and arcs of volcanoes clearly indicate subduction of oceanic lithosphere along the Central American and Atlantic Ocean margins of the Caribbean plate, while crustal seismicity in Guatemala, northern Venezuela, and the Cayman Ridge and Cayman Trench indicate transform fault and pull-apart basin tectonics.

Along the northern margin of the Caribbean plate, the North America plate moves westwards with respect to the Caribbean plate at a velocity of approximately 20 mm/yr. Motion is accommodated along several major transform faults that extend eastward from Isla de Roatan to Haiti, including the Swan Island Fault and the Oriente Fault. These faults represent the southern and northern boundaries of the Cayman Trench. Further east, from the Dominican Republic to the Island of Barbuda, relative motion between the North America plate and the Caribbean plate becomes increasingly complex and is partially accommodated by nearly arc-parallel subduction of the North America plate beneath the Caribbean plate. This results in the formation of the deep Puerto Rico Trench and a zone of intermediate focus earthquakes (70-300 km depth) within the subducted slab. Although the Puerto Rico subduction zone is thought to be capable of generating a megathrust earthquake, there have been no such events in the past century. The last probable interplate (thrust fault) event here occurred on May 2, 1787 and was widely felt throughout the island with documented destruction across the entire northern coast, including Arecibo and San Juan. Since 1900, the two largest earthquakes to occur in this region were the August 4, 1946 M8.0 Samana earthquake in northeastern Hispaniola and the July 29, 1943 M7.6 Mona Passage earthquake, both of which were shallow thrust fault earthquakes. A significant portion of the motion between the North America plate and the Caribbean plate in this region is accommodated by a series of left-lateral strike-slip faults that bisect the island of Hispaniola, notably the Septentrional Fault in the north and the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden Fault in the south. Activity adjacent to the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden Fault system is best documented by the devastating January 12, 2010 M7.0 Haiti strike-slip earthquake, its associated aftershocks and a comparable earthquake in 1770.

Moving east and south, the plate boundary curves around Puerto Rico and the northern Lesser Antilles where the plate motion vector of the Caribbean plate relative to the North and South America plates is less oblique, resulting in active island-arc tectonics. Here, the North and South America plates subduct towards the west beneath the Caribbean plate along the Lesser Antilles Trench at rates of approximately 20 mm/yr. As a result of this subduction, there exists both intermediate focus earthquakes within the subducted plates and a chain of active volcanoes along the island arc. Although the Lesser Antilles is considered one of the most seismically active regions in the Caribbean, few of these events have been greater than M7.0 over the past century. The island of Guadeloupe was the site of one of the largest megathrust earthquakes to occur in this region on February 8, 1843, with a suggested magnitude greater than 8.0. The largest recent intermediate-depth earthquake to occur along the Lesser Antilles arc was the November 29, 2007 M7.4 Martinique earthquake northwest of Fort-De-France.

The southern Caribbean plate boundary with the South America plate strikes east-west across Trinidad and western Venezuela at a relative rate of approximately 20 mm/yr. This boundary is characterized by major transform faults, including the Central Range Fault and the Boconó-San Sebastian-El Pilar Faults, and shallow seismicity. Since 1900, the largest earthquakes to occur in this region were the October 29, 1900 M7.7 Caracas earthquake, and the July 29, 1967 M6.5 earthquake near this same region. Further to the west, a broad zone of compressive deformation trends southwestward across western Venezuela and central Columbia. The plate boundary is not well defined across northwestern South America, but deformation transitions from being dominated by Caribbean/South America convergence in the east to Nazca/South America convergence in the west. The transition zone between subduction on the eastern and western margins of the Caribbean plate is characterized by diffuse seismicity involving low- to intermediate-magnitude (Magnitude less than 6.0) earthquakes of shallow to intermediate depth.

The plate boundary offshore of Colombia is also characterized by convergence, where the Nazca plate subducts beneath South America towards the east at a rate of approximately 65 mm/yr. The January 31, 1906 M8.5 earthquake occurred on the shallowly dipping megathrust interface of this plate boundary segment. Along the western coast of Central America, the Cocos plate subducts towards the east beneath the Caribbean plate at the Middle America Trench. Convergence rates vary between 72-81 mm/yr, decreasing towards the north. This subduction results in relatively high rates of seismicity and a chain of numerous active volcanoes; intermediate-focus earthquakes occur within the subducted Cocos plate to depths of nearly 300 km. Since 1900, there have been many moderately sized intermediate-depth earthquakes in this region, including the September 7, 1915 M7.4 El Salvador and the October 5, 1950 M7.8 Costa Rica events.

The boundary between the Cocos and Nazca plates is characterized by a series of north-south trending transform faults and east-west trending spreading centers. The largest and most seismically active of these transform boundaries is the Panama Fracture Zone. The Panama Fracture Zone terminates in the south at the Galapagos rift zone and in the north at the Middle America trench, where it forms part of the Cocos-Nazca-Caribbean triple junction. Earthquakes along the Panama Fracture Zone are generally shallow, low- to intermediate in magnitude (Magnitude less than 7.2) and are characteristically right-lateral strike-slip faulting earthquakes. Since 1900, the largest earthquake to occur along the Panama Fracture Zone was the July 26, 1962 M7.2 earthquake. - USGS.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Volcano Report For April 2, 2014 - Ubinas Volcano Rumblies To Life In Peru, Dozens Evacuated; The Karymsky Volcano Spews 2km Ash Column On The Kamchatka Peninsula; And Activity Resumes Mount Etna's New Southeast Crater In Italy!

April 02, 2014 - WORLDWIDE VOLCANOES - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe.

Ubinas (Peru): A volcano in Peru that has not blown its top in four decades spewed more ash skyward on Tuesday, after authorities evacuated villagers to avoid Ubinas's wrath.

Image released by the Peruvian Center of Operations of National Emergency, of the Ubinas volcano spewing ashes
in Moquegua region, 70 km from Arequipa, Peru on September 2, 2013 (AFP Photo/)

According to AFP, the volcano in southwestern Peru blasted back to life causing about 60 villagers from Querapi, near its base, to be relocated Saturday, Ubinas town mayor Pascual Coaquira said.

"We are readying a shelter for refugees from the blasts," he added Tuesday, noting that the whole Moquegua region was on alert.

"The volcano has been emitting a lot of ash all day, the people in the town (of Ubinas) are having some problems breathing, the mayor added. They have been given masks, he said.

Peru's geological and mining agency (Ingemmet) said lava had been building up in recent weeks, and warned locals they should prepare for the possibility of more evacuations.

In the broader Moquegua area plus Arequipa and Tacna, there are about 40 volcanoes, most dormant.

Etna (Sicily, Italy): After a few days of apparent calm, new activity resumes on Etna: weak strombolian activity occurs at the NSEC and renewed small lava effusion from a fissure vent at the eastern base of the cone.

Thermal image of the lava flow (Monte Cagliato webcam, INGV Catania)

Current tremor amplitude (ECPNZ station, INGV Catania)

Seismic tremor is slowly increasing

Karymsky (Kamchatka, Russia): The Karymsky volcano has been highly active since the beginning of March.

ITAR-TASS/Igor Vainshtein

The Karymsky volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula has spewed a two-kilometer ash column. The eruption poses no hazard to the local population, the Kamchatka Volcano Eruption Response Team (KVERT) told ITAR-TASS on Tuesday.

The ash plume has spread to a distance of 50 kilometres southeast. There are no populated localities on its way, experts said.

The orange aviation color code has been assigned to the volcano. It warns of the hazard to aircraft posed by volcanic ash particles.

The Karymsky volcano has been highly active since the beginning of March. It has been spewing ash columns to a height of up to two thousand meters above sea level.

Karymsky is one of the most active volcanoes of Kamchatka. Its height is 1,536 meters. The volcano that belongs to the central part of the Eastern volcanic belt of Kamchatka is located 30 kilometres from the Pacific coast and 125 kilometres from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. There are no settlements in close proximity to the volcano. The volcano has been active since January 1996.

Complete Earthquake list (worldwide) for April 2, 2014.

SOURCES: Volcano Discovery | Yahoo | ITAR-TASS.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Latest Incidents Of Fireballs Over The Earth - Fireball Seen Over Jutland, Denmark And Big Fireball Seen Over Germany, France And Switzerland!

April 02, 2014 - SPACE - The following constitutes the latest incidents of meteor fireballs seen in the skies over the Earth:

Fireball Seen Over Jutland, Denmark
The fireball captured by a camera from the Orion Planeteriet at Jels in Jutland.Anton N. Sørensen/Orion Planetarium

A powerful fireball was observed over Denmark at around 1 am on Sunday morning (30th of March 2014). The fireball has perhaps let to the fall of meteorites in the Western parts of Jutland.

The fireball was observed by several witnesses. The fireball was captured on cameras, that watch the nights sky in order to register possible meteorite falls.

A couple of people have also heard a sonic boom in connection with the fireball. Sonic booms are rather special and unusual which makes this fireball somewhat special.

WATCH: Below is a video of the fireball:

The thought that there might be recoverable meteorites is based on these sonic booms. Earlier cases of recovered meteorites have almost always been connected with the sonic booms.

The sonic booms are interesting as they can be used to narrow down where a possible meteor might have fallen.

We would therefore like to hear from people, who might have heard the sonic booms over the western parts of Jutland in the night between Saturday and Sunday, says Henning Haack, lecturer at the State Museum for Natural Sciences. - SNM. [Translated]

Big Fireball Seen Over Germany, France And Switzerland
Sightings of the fireball on the evening of the 31st of March 2014

25 Reports! Long Duration! Perhaps Meteorites???

Initial Meteor Sighting Reports (Unedited) -
31MAR2014 John Stuttgart, Germany 2235 5sec N-S Green Very bright None Never seen anything like it

31MAR2014 Saimonas Germany, Hüttenfeld 22:34 pm 3-4 secs I was directing the W side. The object was falling of right to left. Very bright , a little bit blue colour around the falling object. brighter than the moon. Yes. At the end of the falling the light blurred away , and i could see a black object for a second nope

31MAR2014 Richard & Ann Spence Bernstadt, Baden Württemberg, Germany 22:33 CEST 10 seconds West-East Greenish, two flaming trails, whooshing sound Bright as full moon None Faded completely

31MAR2014 Betsy Belfort, France 22:32/UTC+01:00/PM Around 10 seconds I was facing east, it was falling from left to right (north to south east?) Colors: white. No sound, windows closed. Bright as moon. None that I saw. N/A

31MAR2014 Pablo Narvaez Basel, Switzerland 22:30:00 10 sec Left to right White light with green tail Bigger than Venus 
My wife came home at about 23:10 CEDST from playing cards with her "girls" and this is what she told me ... and she was very excited: "I was on my way to our car when something suddenly lit up the Eastern sky. It was dazzling bright, had a greenish color, apparent diameter ca. 2 inches, color greenish, duration several seconds, length of luminous train (apparently 50-60 cm). She and her "girls" heard no sonic boom." Location: Mannheim - Rheinau (Rheinau is a place about 10 km east of Mannheim). Best wishes, Bernd Thanks Bernd!

All 25 meteor sighting reports can be seen here:

ICE AGE NOW: It's Official - Chicago Experienced The Coldest Four Months EVER ON RECORD!

April 02, 2014 - CHICAGO, UNITED STATES - An over a century-old record falls.

Weather Channel producer Shawn Reynolds tweeted this incredible photo taken by pilot
Hank Cain of a tundra-like Chicago, from above on January 23rd, 2014

The average temperature for December 2013 to March 2014 period in Chicago was only 22.0°F, 10 degrees below freezing, beating the old record set in the winter of 1903-04. It even beat the harsh winters of 1977/78 which were some of the worst ever.

While stories rage in the media about how global warming is a threat to mankind and nobody will be left untouched by it, the National Weather Service in Chicago issued this statement today.

No, it isn’t an April fools joke.

Here is the statement:

937 AM CDT TUE APR 1 2014 /1037 AM EDT TUE APR 1 2014/





1.      22.0        2013-14
2.      22.3        1903-04
3.      22.5        1977-78
        22.5        1892-93 
5.      22.7        1978-79 




1.      18.2        1977-78
2.      18.4        2013-14
3.      18.5        1978-79
4.      19.1        1911-12 
5.      21.0        1981-82 


Source: - WUWT.

MONUMENTAL GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Death Toll Rises To 29 In Washington State Landslide - 20 Still Listed As Missing!

April 02, 2014 - WASHINGTON STATE, UNITED STATES - The death toll rose to 29 on Wednesday in the landslide more than a week ago that buried a Washington community as searchers continued the grim task of looking through the tangled muck for more victims.

March 31, 2014: An American flag hangs from the only cedar post left standing at the scene
of a deadly mudslide in Oso, Wash. (AP Photo/The Herald, Sofia Jaramillo, Pool)

The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office said Wednesday that one additional victim had been found, though the number of people positively identified remained at 22.

An additional 20 are still listed as missing from the March 22 slide that collapsed a section of a hill and buried the community at Oso, about 55 miles north of Seattle.

On Tuesday, Steve Harris, a supervisor in the search effort, said workers had refined their search techniques in the last few days and were able to zero in on areas where bodies may be found.

“In these areas where we find logs and debris,” he said, “that’s where we’re finding human remains.”
With the water receding, rescue workers have been able to extend their search.

In addition, Mr. Harris said, rescue workers have taken advantage of tools that have been brought in, including sonar to search the water and an excavation equipment that has been placed on pontoons.

But he cautioned that “there’s a lot of material out there that very likely won’t be recovered.” - NY Times.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Massive 8.2 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Off Chile's Northwest Coast - Nearly 7 Feet High Tsunami Hit Pacific Coast Of South, Central America; Multiple Aftershocks; At Least 5 People Dead; 80,000 Displaced; Widespread Damage And Fires Reported; President Bachelet Declares Region A "Disaster Zone"! [PHOTOS+VIDEOS+MAPS+ESTIMATES]

April 02, 2014 - CHILE - A massive 8.2 magnitude quake has struck off the coast of northern Chile, killing 5 people and displacing around 80,000. Damages and fires have been reported throughout the region and many have lost power because of the quake.

Massive 8.2 Earthquake Strikes Off Chile's Northwest Coast - Sparks Tsunami Alert For Pacific Coast Of South, Central America
USGS earthquake location map.

The quake occurred Tuesday, 95 km (59 miles) northwest of the mining area of Iquique near the Peruvian border. The epicenter was located at a shallow depth of about 20 km (12 miles) below the seabed.

The Chilean navy said the first sign of the tsunami hitting the coast was within 45 minutes of the quake. The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) said a tsunami measuring almost two meters (6.56 feet) had been generated.

Firefighters try to extinguish a fire on a restaurant by the sea shore after a powerful 8.0-magnitude earthquake
hit off Chile's Pacific coast, on April 1, 2014 in Iquique. (AFP Photo / Aldo Solimano)

Chile’s emergency ministry ONEMI said there have been reports of landslides causing some blockage on roads and highways.

At least five people have died following the quake, Chile's Interior Minister Rodrigo Penailillo said.

WATCH: Deadly 8.2 earthquake hits Chile.


Complicating any government response to the quake in Chile were reports that 300 female prisoners had escaped. According to The Guardian newspaper, the armed forces was being used to track down the escapees and had recaptured less than 50.

The country’s president, Michelle Bachelet, has declared the region around the epicenter a “disaster zone” and praised Chile’s emergency services for their swift response to the crisis.

Chile's National Seismological Centre upgrades magnitude of earthquake to 8.3.

Massive 8.2 Earthquake Strikes Off Chile's Northwest Coast - Sparks Tsunami Alert For Pacific Coast Of South, Central America
USGS earthquake shakemap intensity map.

Electricity is out in Iquique, and partially lost in the Peruvian cities of Tacna, Moquegua, and Arequipa, Reuters reports.

Several aftershocks - ranging from magnitude 5 to 6.2 - were detected in the area following the earthquake.

WATCH: Aftershocks shake Chile.


Two major fires have been reported in Iquique following the quake, according to Publimetro. There have also been reports of looting in the city.

Massive 8.2 Earthquake Strikes Off Chile's Northwest Coast - Sparks Tsunami Alert For Pacific Coast Of South, Central America
USGS earthquake uncertainty ratio map.

All of the Latin American Pacific coast is under threat for tsunami activity, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). In addition to Chile, a tsunami warning has been issued for Peru, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said. Tsunami watches for Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua have been cancelled.

Aleuy said the tsunami alert for Chile’s coast will last for at least another six hours after the quake, Reuters reported.

A tsunami energy map released by the National Tsunami Warning Centre after the quake.

“Sea level readings indicate a tsunami was generated," the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said in a bulletin. "It may have been destructive along coasts near the earthquake epicenter and could also be a threat to more distant coasts.”

The Chile National Office of Emergency of the Interior Ministry (ONEMI) ordered a preventative evacuation for the coastal areas of Arica, Parinacota, and Tarapacá, La Tercera reported.

An estimated tsunami time travel map resulting from the Chilean quake

Chile President Michelle Bachelet suspended all of her scheduled activities for Wednesday and is evaluating travel to the impacted region, according to La Tercera.

Peruvian authorities have begun evacuating areas in the southern coastal region of Ica, RPP radio reported. About 200 people left the seaside town of Boca del Rio, Peru, according to AP. No injuries or major damage occurred, said Col. Enrique Blanco, regional police chief in Tacna, a city of 300,000 on the Chilean border.

People evacuate buildings in the Chilean port city of Antofagasta

Chile's main mining companies said there was no serious damage to their operations.

The PTWC said it does not expect a major tsunami to hit the state of Hawaii.

Map of all seismic activity from the past 2 weeks.

Hundreds of earthquakes have occurred along Chile's far-northern coast in the past two weeks. A 6.7 magnitude quake hit on March 16, causing the brief evacuation of 100,000 people in low-lying areas. No tsunami followed.

An 8.8 magnitude quake and accompanying tsunami hit central Chile in 2010, killing over 500 people and destroying 220,000 homes, among other damage.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre has cancelled the tsunami warning for most of countries. A tsunami advisory continues to be in effect in Hawaii

SOURCES: Reuters | RT | News Australia.

Tectonic Summary.
The April 1, 2014 M8.2 earthquake in northern Chile occurred as the result of thrust faulting at shallow depths near the Chilean coast. The location and mechanism of the earthquake are consistent with slip on the primary plate boundary interface, or megathrust, between the Nazca and South America plates. At the latitude of the earthquake, the Nazca plate subducts eastward beneath the South America plate at a rate of 65 mm/yr. Subduction along the Peru-Chile Trench to the west of Chile has led to uplift of the Andes mountain range and has produced some of the largest earthquakes in the world, including the 2010 M 8.8 Maule earthquake in central Chile, and the largest earthquake on record, the 1960 M 9.5 earthquake in southern Chile.

The April 1 earthquake occurred in a region of historic seismic quiescence – termed the northern Chile or Iquique seismic gap.  Geodetic modeling indicates that the subducting and overriding plates are partially to fully-locked, implying that large earthquake are possible along the plate boundary megathrust. Historical records indicate a M 8.8 earthquake occurred within the Iquique gap in 1877, which was preceded immediately to the north by an M 8.8 earthquake in 1868.

A recent increase in seismicity rates has occurred in the vicinity of the April 1 earthquake. An M6.7 earthquake with similar faulting mechanism occurred on March 16, 2014 and was followed by 60+ earthquake of M4+, and 26 earthquakes of M5+. The March 16 earthquake was also followed by three M6.2 events on March 17, March 22, and March 23. The spatial distribution of seismicity following the March 16 event migrated spatially to the north through time, starting near 20oS and moving to ~19.5oS. The initial location of the April 1 earthquake places the event near the northern end of this seismic sequence. Other recent large plate boundary ruptures bound the possible rupture area of the April 1 event, including the 2001 M 8.4 Peru earthquake adjacent to the south coast of Peru to the north, and the 2007 M 7.7 Tocopilla, Chile and 1995 M 8.1 Antofagasta, Chile earthquakes to the south. Other nearby events along the plate boundary interface include an M 7.4 in 1967 as well as an M 7.7 in 2005 in the deeper portion of the subduction zone beneath onland Chile.

Seismotectonics of South America (Nazca Plate Region).
The South American arc extends over 7,000 km, from the Chilean margin triple junction offshore of southern Chile to its intersection with the Panama fracture zone, offshore of the southern coast of Panama in Central America. It marks the plate boundary between the subducting Nazca plate and the South America plate, where the oceanic crust and lithosphere of the Nazca plate begin their descent into the mantle beneath South America. The convergence associated with this subduction process is responsible for the uplift of the Andes Mountains, and for the active volcanic chain present along much of this deformation front. Relative to a fixed South America plate, the Nazca plate moves slightly north of eastwards at a rate varying from approximately 80 mm/yr in the south to approximately 65 mm/yr in the north. Although the rate of subduction varies little along the entire arc, there are complex changes in the geologic processes along the subduction zone that dramatically influence volcanic activity, crustal deformation, earthquake generation and occurrence all along the western edge of South America.

Most of the large earthquakes in South America are constrained to shallow depths of 0 to 70 km resulting from both crustal and interplate deformation. Crustal earthquakes result from deformation and mountain building in the overriding South America plate and generate earthquakes as deep as approximately 50 km. Interplate earthquakes occur due to slip along the dipping interface between the Nazca and the South American plates. Interplate earthquakes in this region are frequent and often large, and occur between the depths of approximately 10 and 60 km. Since 1900, numerous magnitude 8 or larger earthquakes have occurred on this subduction zone interface that were followed by devastating tsunamis, including the 1960 M9.5 earthquake in southern Chile, the largest instrumentally recorded earthquake in the world. Other notable shallow tsunami-generating earthquakes include the 1906 M8.5 earthquake near Esmeraldas, Ecuador, the 1922 M8.5 earthquake near Coquimbo, Chile, the 2001 M8.4 Arequipa, Peru earthquake, the 2007 M8.0 earthquake near Pisco, Peru, and the 2010 M8.8 Maule, Chile earthquake located just north of the 1960 event.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

Large intermediate-depth earthquakes (those occurring between depths of approximately 70 and 300 km) are relatively limited in size and spatial extent in South America, and occur within the Nazca plate as a result of internal deformation within the subducting plate. These earthquakes generally cluster beneath northern Chile and southwestern Bolivia, and to a lesser extent beneath northern Peru and southern Ecuador, with depths between 110 and 130 km. Most of these earthquakes occur adjacent to the bend in the coastline between Peru and Chile. The most recent large intermediate-depth earthquake in this region was the 2005 M7.8 Tarapaca, Chile earthquake.

Earthquakes can also be generated to depths greater than 600 km as a result of continued internal deformation of the subducting Nazca plate. Deep-focus earthquakes in South America are not observed from a depth range of approximately 300 to 500 km. Instead, deep earthquakes in this region occur at depths of 500 to 650 km and are concentrated into two zones: one that runs beneath the Peru-Brazil border and another that extends from central Bolivia to central Argentina. These earthquakes generally do not exhibit large magnitudes. An exception to this was the 1994 Bolivian earthquake in northwestern Bolivia. This M8.2 earthquake occurred at a depth of 631 km, making it the largest deep-focus earthquake instrumentally recorded, and was felt widely throughout South and North America.

Subduction of the Nazca plate is geometrically complex and impacts the geology and seismicity of the western edge of South America. The intermediate-depth regions of the subducting Nazca plate can be segmented into five sections based on their angle of subduction beneath the South America plate. Three segments are characterized by steeply dipping subduction; the other two by near-horizontal subduction. The Nazca plate beneath northern Ecuador, southern Peru to northern Chile, and southern Chile descend into the mantle at angles of 25° to 30°. In contrast, the slab beneath southern Ecuador to central Peru, and under central Chile, is subducting at a shallow angle of approximately 10° or less. In these regions of “flat-slab” subduction, the Nazca plate moves horizontally for several hundred kilometers before continuing its descent into the mantle, and is shadowed by an extended zone of crustal seismicity in the overlying South America plate. Although the South America plate exhibits a chain of active volcanism resulting from the subduction and partial melting of the Nazca oceanic lithosphere along most of the arc, these regions of inferred shallow subduction correlate with an absence of volcanic activity. - USGS.