Magnitude 8.0 quake off Chile sparks tsunami warning along Latin America's Pacific coast

WASHINGTON, April 1 Tue Apr 1, 2014 8:13pm EDT

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WASHINGTON, April 1 (Reuters) - A massive magnitude 8.0 earthquake on Tuesday off the coast of Chile, near the mining port of Iquique, sparked a tsunami warning for all of Latin America's Pacific coast, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

"An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines near the epicenter within minutes and more distant coastlines within hours," it said.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was very shallow, only 6.2 miles (10 km) below the seabed. It was centered 53 miles (86 km) northwest of Iquique, Chile's main mining export port. (Reporting by Sandra Maler; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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