Chile upgrades tsunami alert for coast, Easter Island

SANTIAGO - Chile on Friday upgraded atsunami alert for its coastline and remote Easter Islandterritory after waves triggered by a massive earthquake inJapan hit Hawaii, and said it would evacuate flood-prone areasalong the mainland coast.

Chile was hit by a magnitude 8.8 quake and ensuing tsunamisa year ago that hammered towns, roads and industries in southcentral Chile, killed more than 500 people and caused anestimated $30 billion hit to the economy between damagedinfrastructure, property and lost productivity.

"The level of tsunami has been raised for Easter Island,where waves are now estimated at 3 meters (10 feet) rather than2 meters (7 feet)," said Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter,adding the alert also applied to Chilean Antarctica.

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