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Chile earthquake: No tsunami warning for California or West Coast

Chile earthquake: No tsunami warning for California or West Coast
An image released by the United States Geological Survey showsthe location of a powerful 8.0 earthquake off the coast of Chile, about 60 miles from the city of Iquique. (USGS, EPA)

No tsunami threat to California or the U.S. West Coast was immediately seen after a magnitude 8.0 earthquake hit off the west coast of Chile, the U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center said.

No tsunami warning would probably be issued for California "unless we see something we don't expect," Paul Whitmore, director of the U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center, told the Los Angeles Times.

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A magnitude 8.0 earthquake has already generated 6-foot-high tsunami waves in Chile, Whitmore said.

"Yes, that could do a lot of damage" in Chile, Whitmore said. "Once a tsunami gets going, a large-sized one, it will continue for hours, if not days."

"The danger will only decrease after the first six hours," Whitmore said "They're long-lasting events."

ron.lin@latimes.com

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