Massive Waves Crash Over Chile’s Coast

Created: 2013-07-05 12:35 EST

Category: World > South America

A large strip of Chile's Pacific coast remained on alert Thursday (July 4) as massive swells continued to pound the coastline due to strong weather.

High winds and tidal movements have combined to create swells with 22-foot (7m) waves in some parts of the coastline.

In Vina del Mar, about 75 miles (120km) west of Santiago, the tide washed over a pedestrian footbridge and onto coastal streets on Tuesday (July 3), damaging homes and businesses.

[Virginia Reginato, Vina del Mar Mayor]:
"Fortunately there is no structural damage to the walkway itself, but instead it is the wooden footbridge which has been affected."

The sea was equally as rough about 60 miles (100km) south in the seaside resort town of Santo Domingo.

Waves were seen crashing over seawalls and onto roadways.

A nearby port was reported completely closed to all vessels.

One resident, Danilo Osorio says he’s never seen such high swells.

[Danilo Osorio, Resident]:
"Well yes, we've had large swells before, but this is the first time they have been so big with such tall waves 16 feet (5m)."

Further south, about 420 miles (680km) south of Santiago in Tolten, over a dozen people were evacuated from the seaside homes.

[German Canales, Resident]:
"Just think how that house over there is. Look at it. This is really crazy. This has never been seen before."

The local weather service has issued a warning saying the large swells could last through Sunday (July 7).