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8.8 Earthquake Strikes Chile Overnight

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The U.S. cable news networks are providing coverage this morning of an 8.8 earthquake that struck central Chile overnight, along the Pacific coast. This is the most powerful earthquake to hit the region in 50 years — since 1960′s 9.5 quake, the biggest in recorded history.

FNC, CNN and MSNBC are relying on images from TV Chile as well as from that network’s news channel 24 Horas. CNN is also relying on information from CNN Chile, and CNN en Espanol. MSNBC is using the resources of NBCU’s Spanish-language network Telemundo. That network, as well as Univision, have been airing uninterrupted coverage from Chile this morning.

Reporting times: Fox News – 2:35amEST, CNN/U.S. – 2:59am, MSNBC – 3:25am. The quake struck at 3:34am. Santiago is two hours ahead of EST.

> More: I received an email from Todd Ogasawara, editor of mediabistro.com site MobileContentToday, a short time ago. Todd lives in Honolulu:

We’re under an ocean-wide tsunami warning (first in decades) caused by the massive earthquake in Chile. Whatever hits will hit around 11:19am HST (4:19pm Eastern) Saturday Feb. 27.

Just got back from Safeway where foot traffic was starting to build by the time I left at 2:25am.

> More: Fox News will preempt Journal Editorial Report, FOX News Watch and Glenn Beck and instead stay live from 2-4pmET with Kelly Wright and Juliet Huddy.

> Related: CNN Relays Most News About Crisis

> More: CNN correspondents/anchors heading to the region: John Zarella, Soledad O’Brien, Ted Rowlands, Ed Lavandera, Elizabeth Cohen, Gary Tuchman. (h/t: ICN)

> More: FNC’s Phil Keating is en route to Chile.

> 1pmET Update: CNN/U.S. is simulcasting CNN International. MSNBC is preempting docs for continuing coverage. CNN has also updated who they are sending to the region: It is Soledad O’Brien, Dan Simon, John Zarella, Hala Gorani, Sara Sidner, and Karl Penhaul.

> More: Pres. Barack Obama addressed the situation from the White House at 1:48pmET. CNN, FNC, FBN, and MSNBC, carried the statement on cable, and ABC carried it in a special report anchored by Sharyn Alfonsi. NBC was in Olympic coverage and CBS was broadcasting NCAA basketball.

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> NBC’s Lester Holt delivers a special report during Olympic coverage at 2:30pmET with video and an excerpt from the president’s remarks.

> More: Ann Curry, Mike Taibbi, and Mark Potter headed to Chile to cover for NBC News. CNN’s Larry King will air a live show tonight at 9pmET.

> More: For ABC, Jeffrey Kofman and David Wright are on their way to Chile. “Nightline” producer Malia Patria is in Chile on assignment and was having dinner when the quake struck. She did a live report for “World News” Saturday.

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