An earthquake with a magnitude of 8.2 struck the coast of Chile Tuesday – and what better excuse to break out of prison!
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the giant earthquake was centered 62 miles north of Iquique at a depth of 6.2 miles. The quake, along with the dozens of aftershocks – including a 6.2 tremor – generated a tsunami with six-foot waves, prompting tsunami warnings for not only Chile, but also Peru and Ecuador.
Although only six people have reportedly died so far (not bad for 8.2-magnitude earthquake!), tens of thousands have been evacuated, power lines have been cut, fires have broken out, and landslides have been triggered.
And while the earthquake is bad news for most, it’s good news for the roughly 300 prisoners who escaped from the port city of Iquique. Following the powerful shift in the earth’s crust, the prisoners from a women’s jail saw the perfect opportunity to get out of jail free. As the prison was being evacuated following the tsunami warnings, the inmates instigated a massive jailbreak and set fire to the prison site.
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet wasn’t so keen on the prisoners’ plan. Bachelet declared a state of emergency in the region and sent a military plane with 100 anti-riot police to join 300 soldiers deployed to prevent looting and round up escaped prisoners. So far, 39 of the escapees have been recaptured since the quake but authorities are still frantically searching for the other missing prisoners and silently praying that the whole incident was just an elaborate April Fool’s Day prank.