There is a tsunami watch in Hawaii.
Coastal areas of Chile and Peru are also on tsunami watch.
Chile is on the seismically active Ring of Fire which traces an arc in the Pacific Ocean from New Zealand through Japan, along the Aleutian Islands and down the coast of Canada and the US, south along S. America. In 2010 an 8.8 quake hit Chile causing many deaths and much damage. The government has taken effective steps to cope with the evacuations and maintenance of order.
An earthquake off the coast of Japan in 2011 was measured at 9.0. It resulted in a massive tsunami. The combination killed an estimated 15000 people and swept whole towns out to sea. The Fukumshima Daiichi atomic power plant was crippled by the tsumani and remains a radioactive hotspot still.
Earthquakes are caused by large, solid plates(tectonic plates) that move slowly. Some of the plate edges slide under other plates. The movement is not smooth, but the plate ‘catches’ and then releases suddenly, causing the surface movement that we call an earthquake. The Pacific Plate is moving under the S. American plate. Some of the land is uplifted, as evidenced in the Andes Mountains.
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