Intense Earthquakes often spawn Tsunamis
These quakes are frequently the cause Tsunamis that can be devastating to coastal areas such as those in Chile, Japan, and Hawaii.
Over the past century Chile has had dozens of fairly intense earthquakes with the greatest on May 22, 1960.
An earthquake in Chile, Peru or Mexico generates tsunamis large enough to reach Japan, some 14000 km, 8700 miles, away.
In 1960, hundreds of boats in the Cerritos Channel were cast loose by surging currents when waves arrived from an earthquake in Chile. The earthquake on May 22, 1960 in Chile led to a wave that caused 61 deaths in Hawaii and damage on the West Coast of the United States. It is said that the 1960 earthquake on the coast of southern Chile made the entire earth reverberate like a bell. The resulting waves raced across the Pacific and took a substantial toll of lives and property, hitting Hawaii, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
The world's strongest recorded earthquake devastated Chile, with a reading of 9.5 on the Richter scale. A tsunami 30ft (10m) high eliminates entire villages in Chile and killed 61 hundreds of miles away in Hawaii. The Great Kanto earthquake, with its epicenter just outside of Tokyo killed 140000 people in Japan on September 1, 1923.
You can check with the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii for updates to the likelihood of a pending Tsunami, and for more history on the past century of earthquakes, visit http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/2059330.stm