Chile quake death toll exceeds 300, tsunami threats across Pacific (2)

16:15, February 28, 2010      

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After the major earthquake, at least 25 aftershocks ranging from 5 to 6.9 magnitudes on the Richter scale have been registered.

To the moment, 22 people have been reportedly rescued alive, while millions of others are believed affected by the massive quake.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has sent three rescue teams to the affected areas, while declaring many parts of the country as catastrophe zones and calling on residents to remain calm.

TSUNAMI THREATS ACROSS PACIFIC

Countries and regions across the Pacific are on high alert against a tsunami triggered by the earthquake.

The first wave of the tsunami hit Japan's outlying islands at around 12:48 a.m. local time (0348 GMT) Sunday. But the initial waves were just 10 cm high.

The waves first hit Ogasawara islands off Japan's main island. The Japan Meteorological Agency predicted it will soon reach other parts of the Pacific coastline of the country.

Local governments has urged thousands of households in northeast Japan to evacuate, where the waves are expected to be more than 3 meters high. Transportation on many lines of the railway system has also been suspended due to the tsunami.

The Malaysian Meteorological Department said Sunday that those staying at the coastal areas of southern Sabah are advised to stay away from the beaches as there are likely rough sea conditions on Sunday.

According to a statement issued by the Malaysian Meteorological Department, the Chilean earthquake had triggered tsunami waves across the Pacific Ocean, affecting countries and regions such as Mexico, New Zealand, Tahiti, Hawaii, Tonga and Samoa Islands.

The Philippines has raised the tsunami alert to Level 2, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said on Sunday.


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