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Tuesday's magnitude-8.2 earthquake off northern Chile pounded coastal ports and fishing villages with 7-foot tsunamis and sent waves rolling across the entire Pacific Ocean.

An animation produced by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center shows - impressively - how waves were forecast to spread oceanwide over 30 hours, varying in height and impact. Though the death toll was low (six) and the damage confined, the simulation demonstrates the potential devastation that a much stronger quake could cause around the Pacific Rim.

In Chile, the ports of Iquique, Arica, Patache and Tocopilla remained closed Thursday after bearing the brunt of the quake-generated tsunamis. The navy warned that high waves and strong currents could continue along the hard-hit coastal areas.

Late Wednesday, a tsunami alert for the coast and in neighboring Peru was called off following a magnitude-7.6 aftershock.

With waves from the 8.2 quake moving steadily west, Hawaii kicked off "Tsunami Warning Month" with surges from less than a foot to 3 feet before dawn Wednesday, prompting warnings for boaters, surfers and swimmers around the islands. There were no reports of damage or injuries.

In eastern Japan, which was devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, more than 30,000 people evacuated from their homes in four prefectures ahead of waves measuring between 1 and 2 feet, the Mainichi newspaper reported.

Indonesia had prepared for the arrival Thursday of surges of about 6 inches around the archipelago.

"We are urging the provincial and district governments within these areas to take precautions by urging people to stay away from beaches," said disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

New Zealand and Australia, however, reported no threat from the dissipating waves.



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: See: Chile quake tsunamis roll across Pacific

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