Chile upgrades tsunami alert for coast, Easter Island

SANTIAGO - Chile on Friday upgraded a

tsunami alert for its coastline and remote Easter Island
territory after waves triggered by a massive earthquake in
Japan hit Hawaii, and said it would evacuate flood-prone areas
along the mainland coast.

Chile was hit by a magnitude 8.8 quake and ensuing tsunamis

a year ago that hammered towns, roads and industries in south
central Chile, killed more than 500 people and caused an
estimated $30 billion hit to the economy between damaged
infrastructure, 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 than
2 meters (7 feet)," said Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter,
adding the alert also applied to Chilean Antarctica.