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After the 8.8 magnitude quake and tsunami, roughly 50 people are missing, and 90% of the town was destroyed.
Approximately one hour after the earthquake, teenagers lounging on the beach observed the sea roll out of the horseshoe shaped bay, and immediately ran through town to warn of an impending tsunami. This moved most of the town's population out of harm's way. Many people who had evacuated for the tsunami, returned after the fifth wave, believing it was over, and were killed by the sixth wave.
The tsunami was some 10m high. Vacation cottages were lifted off their pilings by the tsunami and smashed. Fishing boats were washed hundreds of metres inland. The tsunami at Dichato consisted of 7 waves, the sixth being the largest and most damaging.
By early afternoon of the 28th, Chilean government helicopters had started delivering relief supplies.