Powerful earthquake strikes off the coast of Chile

(CNN) -- An 8.0-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Chile on Tuesday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The quake was centered some 62 miles northwest of Iquique at a depth of 6.2 miles.

A tsunami warning was in effect for Chile, Peru and Ecuador.

A tsunami watch was issued for Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

The tsunami threat to Hawaii was still being evaluated. The U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center was also working to determine the level of danger for Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California.

"It is not known that a tsunami was generated. This warning is based only on the earthquake evaluation," 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. Authorities should take appropriate action in response to this possibility."

An 8.0-magnitude earthquake is capable of causing tremendous damage. There were no immediate reports of injuries.


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