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The 8.3 magnitude earthquake that struck offshore Chile Wednesday evening, prompted tsunami advisories, killed at least 12 people and likely caused billions of dollars in damage.
But to get an idea of just how terrifying such an earthquake is, watch this video of the scene from inside a grocery store:
The lights flickered on and off as the shelves waved back and forth, sending products falling and shoppers screaming. Some people just stood in place, unsure where to find cover in the store.
In the video, the shaking lasted a few seconds, stopped and then took up again just as the video cut off with the sound of a glass item falling.
Overall, seismologists said that Chile's heavy investment in structural reinforcement of buildings and constant refinement of its tsunami alert system helped prevent what would have been a catastrophe in less prepared nations.
"Chile has good codes and good compliance, which together have reduced the vulnerabilities of their building stock over the decades," said Richard Olson, director of Florida International University's Extreme Events Institute. "I would rather be there in one of their cities than in many other countries in an earthquake."
Here's a look at some of the damage:
Living in one of the world's most seismically active places, the Andean nation's 17 million people have little choice but become experts in earthquakes. The strongest earthquake ever recorded happened in Chile: a magnitude-9.5 tremor in 1960 that killed more than 5,000 people.
As for the tsunami potential, the Japan Meteorological Agency said a wave of 80 centimeters (31 inches) was recorded in the port of Kuji in Iwate prefecture, part of the same northeast region hit by a much larger and deadly tsunami in March 2011.
No injury or damages have been reported from the waves, but some coastal towns have issued evacuation advisories as a precautionary step.
The agency issued a tsunami advisory before dawn Friday for Japan's entire Pacific coast, from Hokkaido in the north to Okinawa in the south.
Front page image via Shutterstock.
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