This map created by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows the propagation, or spread, of energy across the Pacific from the massive earthquake off Chile.
The image is updated when the DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) system reports back more precise information.
Tom Worthington, Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the Research School of Computer Science at The Australian National University, says the Pacific Tsunami Warning System worked as designed by quickly detecting and warning of the earthquake.
However, problems remain at the local level in getting the warning to residents and in providing them with useful information on what action to take.
“Fortunately, in this case it appears the tsunami was small and the warning was received in time. However, there has been some damage due to the direct effect of the earthquake,” Worthington says.
Dr Behzad Fatahi, Senior Lecturer of Geotechnical and Earthquake Engineering at the University of Technology Sydney, said the earhtwuake was shallow at 20.1 km below the surface.
The last major earthquake in Chile was the 2010 Chile earthquake with the magnitude of 8.8, which was the sixth largest earthquake ever to be recorded by seismographs.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre reports that tsunami waves about two metres high were recorded in Iquique and Pasagua.
In Arica, 140 km NW of the epicentre, a 1.3 metre high wave was reported.
Coastal areas of Chile and neighbouring Peru have been evacuated.
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