Tsunami flow-on from the Chile earthquake reach Australia's east coast

Posted By: Staff
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Melbourne, Feb. 28 (ANI): The tsunami-like conditions recorded in Australia's east coast were triggered by the 8.8-magnitude earthquake which struck off the coast of Chile, toppling buildings, cutting power and pushing the death toll beyond 300.

Experts have warned of sudden and possibly severe current changes off the Victorian coast as a part of a tsunami flow-on from the Chile earthquake.

Rising seas have been recorded in Norfolk Island, Southport in Tasmania and now Port Kembla in the NSW Illawarra, the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre (JATWC) reports.

The JATWC has issued a tsunami alert, declaring a "potential tsunami threat" for Queensland, NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island.

Surges of 10cm to 50cm have spared coastlines but create the risk of severe currents by accelerating the pace of incoming and outgoing tides.

"Things got a bit crazy about 11.30am (AEDT) or so with (readings) showing quite dramatic variations. It doesn't sound a lot but it's going to generate quite significant currents," the Herald Sun quoted JATWC spokesman Alasdair Hainsworth, as saying.

But nature is now working against itself, with an outgoing tide hitting Australia's east coast this afternoon.

"It's posing a decreased threat in that the tide has now turned. As a result we're no longer talking about any kind of foreshore flooding - we're simply now concerned about strong currents," Hainsworth said.

The initial tsunami threat was expected to hit the east coast at high tide, around 9am (AEDT), but rocked up about 90 minutes later, when the tide started to recede. (ANI)

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