Earthquake Triggers Pacific Tsunami Warnings For Central & South America

An estimated 7.6-magnitude earthquake in Costa Rica has triggered tsunami warnings for the Pacific coasts of Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Peru.

A warning means “a tsunami is imminent and that coastal locations in the warned area should prepare for flooding,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

A slightly less ominous “tsunami watch” has been issued for Chile.

According to NOAA’s Tsunami.gov website, “an evaluation of the Pacific-wide tsunami threat is underway and there is a possibility that Hawaii could be elevated to a watch or warning status.”

There’s no word yet on the situation in Costa Rica.

Update at 11:25 a.m. ET: The earthquake struck at 8:24 a.m. local time (10:25 a.m. ET).

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.