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Saturday, February 27

Series of Small Earthquakes Strike Central California as Huge Quakes Rock Japan and Chile

10:00 AM EST UPDATE
> Tsunami alarm to be sounded in Hawaii at 6:00 AM (11 AM EST). "All shores at risk no matter which direction they face," says U.S. agency, from Reuters report.

> Tsunami warnings issued as precaution for all countries throughout Pacific, as far away as Australia. A tsunami advisory has been issued for coastal California.

> Once again, as with the Haiti earthquake crisis, CNN has shifted all their reporting to the crisis in Chile and related news. CNN is continuously monitoring and reporting on news from the social media sites as well as the news wires about the Chile crisis.

> CNN just reported that Ustream is doing live TV reporting from Chile, so it's a good source if you understand Spanish -- but even without that, the live pictures are giving a good indication of the situation. Ustream allows users to broadcast video live to the world from a computer, mobile or iPhone in minutes. Wikipedia has an article about Ustream if you've never heard of the source before.

> CNN reports that if the earthquake that struck Chile is indeed 8.8 magnitude it is among the top ten earthquakes in recorded history.

> Seven of Chile's eight zones have been declared a disaster area.

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Re Chile earthquake: Via Twitter about 5:35 AM EST:
David_Hallett: RT @SirJaxx: Confirmed. At least 500 people at Concepcion Hospital in "Critical" condition. Death toll rising very quickly now #chile #earthquake
Re the California quakes (H/T Twitter), report filed by Zach Behrens at laist, 12:47 AM PST today:
Microquakes have been shaking the Coso Junction area of Eastern Central California all week, but it wasn't until tonight when more noticeable ones struck. A light 4.1 earthquake struck at 10:22 p.m., followed by two minor shakers--a 3.8 at 11:10 p.m. and a 3.4 at 11:21 p.m.

Meanwhile, today has been subject of two much stronger quakes. A 7.0 magnitude quake struck off the coast of Okinawa, Japan in the Ryukyu Islands around 5:31 a.m. Saturday local time, or 12:31 p.m. Friday Pacific Standard Time. There have been no reports of major damage or injuries.

Then at 10:34 p.m. PST, an 8.8 earthquake struck off the coast of Maule, Chile, causing buildings to collapse and power outages in the Chilean capital Santiago. "My mom and little brother lost everything but their lives. Thank God!" said a relative living in Southern California. "When morning comes over there we will know more about the damages."

In 1960, Chile experienced a 9.5 magnitude quake that left 1,655 people dead.
What a year, and it's only February. With the historic quake in Haiti, historic snowstorms in the United States and Europe, flooding on Portugal's Madeira island (worst storm there since 1993), California's massive "Station Fire" and flooding, and now the large 'twin' quakes in Chile and Japan, I fear that TIME magazine's annual "Person of the Year" award is shaping up to be 'The Planet.'
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