Saturday morning at 3:34 am local time an earthquake occurred off the coast of the Maule Region of Chile, rating a magnitude of 8.8 on the moment magnitude scale and lasting for about three minutes. The cities experiencing the strongest shaking—VIII (Destructive) on the Mercalli intensity scale—were Talcahuano, Arauco, Lota, Chiguayante, Cañete, and San Antonio. The earthquake was felt in the capital Santiago at Mercalli intensity scale VII (Very Strong). Tremors were felt in many Argentine cities, including Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Mendoza and La Rioja. Tremors were felt as far north as the city of Ica in southern Peru. Tsunami warnings were issued in 53 countries, and a tsunami was recorded, with amplitude of up to 2.6 m (8 ft 6 in) high, in the sea at Valparaíso, Chile. President Michelle Bachelet declared a "state of catastrophe". She also confirmed the deaths of at least 708 people. Many more have been reported missing.
Please be advised that there is no locomotion, electricity or city services for the time being. The airport is closed until further notice, and the Scan Global Logistics office in Santiago will be closed today Monday March 1, 2010.