A huge magnitude 8.8 earthquake has struck Chile, triggering a tsunami.
Public television is reporting that 180 people have been killed. Earlier, President-elect Sebastian Pinera said at least 122 peope had lost their lives.
He had warned that number could rise.
Serious damage has been reported in two southern cities, in what is the country’s worst quake in decades. In the capital Santiago, the international airport has been forced to close.
It was the early hours of the morning in Chile when the quake struck, 90 kilometres northeast of the city of Concepcion. A huge wave swept into the Juan Fernandez islands and a Pacific-wide tsunami warning was issued.
It is feared Hawaii could be hit. Coastal areas of Chile’s Easter Island are being evacuated.
The US Geologoical Survey has warned an earthquake of magnitude 8 or over can cause “tremendous damage.” The quake that devastated Haiti last month was measured as magnitude 7.0.