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quakex-large(www.USATODAY.com) One of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded struck Chile on Saturday, toppling homes, collapsing bridges and plunging trucks into the fractured earth. A tsunami set off by the magnitude-8.8 quake threatened every nation around the Pacific Ocean— roughly a quarter of the globe.

Chileans near the epicenter were tossed about as if shaken by a giant.

HAWAII: Sirens blasted; tourists evacuated

GRAPHIC: Track tsunami’s path

INTERACTIVE MAP: See strength, location of aftershocks

OLYMPICS: Chilean team to skip closing ceremony

It was the strongest earthquake to hit Chile in 50 years. President-elect Sebastian Pinera said more than 120 people died, a number that was rising quickly.

The quake shook buildings in Argentina’s capital of Buenos Aires, and was felt as far away as Sao Paulo in Brazil — 1,800 miles to the east.

(READ MORE AT http://www.USATODAY.COM)

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