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Saturday, 27 February 2010

Massive earthquake strikes Chile

A massive earthquake with a magnitude of 8.8 has hit central Chile, killing at least 78 people, ministers say. The quake struck at 0634 GMT about 115km (70 miles) north-east of the city of Concepcion and 325km south-west of the capital, Santiago.

President Michelle Bachelet declared a "state of catastrophe" in affected areas and appealed for calm.

Tsunami warnings have been issued for Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand and Pacific island nations. Alerts were also earlier issued for Antarctica and Central America.

Santiago airport has been closed and all flights cancelled until further notice, airline officials say. Flights are being diverted to Mendoza in Argentina.

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Posted by D.Drake

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