9.0 and the largest ever instrumentally documented earthquake (Chile, 1960) reached 9.5. Earthquake magnitudes are measured on a logarithmic scale; the USGS provides a nice little calculator to compare any two magnitudes.
|Location of the epicentre and distribution |
of shaking USGS ShakeMap
|Location of past Chilean ruptures|
(Manuela Dziggel, GFZ)
The earthquake has generated a small, but locally damaging tsunami. Wave heights close to the epicentre have been reported on Twitter at about 2m, backed up by tide gauges at Iquique and Arica. A tsunami warning was initially issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre for Chile, Peru and Ecuador with further tsunami warnings or watches issued for Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatamala, Mexico and Honduras, Antarctica, Pitcairn and French Polynesia. At the time of writing a tsunami advisory continues to be in effect for Hawaii, though a large tsunami is not expected. Near-real time tide gauge data is available from the IOC
|The tsunami hitting the Iquique tide gauge|