Via Reuters: Chile assesses damage after massive quake, tsunami. Click through for several videos. Excerpt:
Chilean authorities on Wednesday were assessing the damage from a massive earthquake that struck off the northern coast, causing a small tsunami, but the impact was mostly limited, according to early indications.
Thousands of people who evacuated the country's low-lying coastal areas returned home on Wednesday morning after authorities called off a tsunami alarm.
The 8.2 magnitude quake that shook northern Chile on Tuesday killed six people and triggered a tsunami that pounded the shore with 2-meter (7-foot) waves.
Authorities evaluated the damage on Wednesday as the ocean waves receded and daylight showed the full extent of the outcome.
Mines in Chile, the world's No. 1 copper producer, mostly said they were functioning normally, and oil refineries reported normal operations.
The arid, mineral-rich north is sparsely populated, with most of the population concentrated in the port towns of Iquique and Arica, near the Peruvian border.
In Peru, the earthquake led to temporary power outages and evacuations in some southern towns, but did not cause serious damage or injuries.
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet visited the affected area on Wednesday. She declared a disaster zone, promising troops and police reinforcements to maintain order while damage was repaired after landslides blocked a number of roads.
Local television showed smaller fishing vessels badly damaged and overturned in Iquique. Although the tsunami alert was called off, the navy warned that high waves and strong currents could continue, and ports in the area remained closed.
Several smaller aftershocks, some as big as 5.2 magnitude, were registered over Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, according to Chile's emergency office.
Over 900,000 people were evacuated from the coastline along Chile on Tuesday, according to the government's emergency office, in a move that local media reported took place in a largely orderly fashion.
Thousands of miles away in Hawaii, residents were warned by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center of possible sea level changes and strong currents that could pose a danger to swimmers and boaters.
It was too early to estimate financial losses, but they were expected to be much lower than the $30 billion from the devastating 8.8 magnitude quake in 2010, which affected the more densely populated central region, said earthquake expert Alexander Allmann at reinsurer Munich Re.