I'll hope this thread can fade into oblivion and never be needed again. But meanwhile, piecing bits together:
SANTIAGO, Chile – A massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck Chile early Saturday, killing at least 78 people, collapsing buildings and setting off a tsunami.
The quake hit 200 miles (325 kilometers) southwest of Santiago, at a depth of 22 miles (35 kilometers) at 3:34 a.m. (0634 GMT; 1:34 a.m. EST), the U.S. Geological Survey reported.
The epicenter was just 70 miles (115 kilometers) from Concepcion, where more than 200,000 people live along the Bio Bio river, and 60 miles (95 kilometers) from the ski town of Chillan, a gateway to Andean ski resorts that was destroyed in a 1939 earthquake.
In the capital, Santiago airport was shut down and will remain closed for at least the next 24 hours, airport director Eduardo del Canto said. The passenger terminal has suffered major damage, he told Chilean television in a telephone interview. TV images show smashed windows, partially collapsed ceilings and pedestrian walkways destroyed.
In Concepcion, nurses and residents pushed some of the injured through the streets on stretchers. Others walked around in a daze wrapped in blankets, some carrying infants in their arms.
The quake shook buildings as far away as Argentina. A series of strong aftershocks rocked Chile's coast, from Valdivia in the south to Valparaiso 500 miles to the north. The epicentre was 70 miles from Concepcion, Chile's second largest city, with a population of about 670,000.
He said a 1.3-metre tsunami wave was observed at Valparaiso about 20 minutes after the earthquake.