Chile: On 1 April a M8.2 earthquake occurred in northern Chile as the result of thrust faulting at shallow depths near the Chilean coast. Buildings were evacuated after the earthquake. Chilean authorities said they were evacuating all coastal areas, but reported no casualties or significant damage. The tremor was also felt in Bolivia and Peru, and 6-foot waves reportedly hit the Chilean coast. The governor of Iquique confirmed a two people have died and 3 have been seriously injured.
The USGS initially reported the tremor at 8.0, but later upgraded the magnitude. It said the quake struck 61 miles (99 kilometers) northwest of the Chilean city of Iquique at 6:46 p.m. U.S. Central time, hitting a region that has been rocked by numerous quakes over the past two weeks. This massive earthquake occurred after numerous very strong earthquakes during the last couple of weeks. A magnitude 6.7 in the same area is expected to be the inception point of all these events.
Chile is one of the world's most earthquake-prone countries. A magnitude-8.8 quake and ensuing tsunami in February 2010 killed more than 500 people, destroyed 220,000 homes, and washed away docks, riverfronts and seaside resorts. A strong magnitude-6.7 earthquake off Chile's far-northern coast in March 16 caused more than 100,000 people to briefly evacuate low-lying areas and has been followed by an unsettling string of more than 300 aftershocks.
The strongest earthquake ever recorded on Earth also happened in Chile — a magnitude-9.5 tremor in 1960 that killed more than 5,000 people.