Tsunami waves are likely to hit Asian, Australian and New Zealand shores within the next 24 hours after the 8.8 magnitude earthquake which struck early Saturday along Chile's coast.
Some Pacific nations in the warning area were heavily damaged by a tsunami last year. On Sept. 29, a tsunami spawned by a magnitude-8.3 earthquake killed 34 people in American Samoa, 183 in Samoa and nine in Tonga. Scientists later said that wave was 46 feet (14 meters) high. Although past South American earthquakes have had deadly effects across the Pacific, the tsunami from Saturday's quake is likely to be much smaller because the quake itself was not as strong. None the less, tsunami waves are notoriously hard to predict and this is a matter of serious concern.
If you have family or friends living in the affected coastal areas, now would be a good time to get in touch with them and make sure they are aware of the threat. People living along the coastlines should move inland. Sailors should put to sea and hold well off shore until the giant waves have passed.