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White House 'closely monitoring' situation following Chile earthquake

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(Read caption) White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the White House is "closely monitoring the situation" following the Chile earthquake. A massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake rocked Chile early Saturday killing at least 78 people. The massive quake plunged much of the Chilean capital, Santiago, into darkness as it snapped power lines and severed communications, and AFP journalists spoke of walls and masonry collapsing.

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UPDATE: President Obama is urging citizens to pay attention to local authorities in regards to today's tsunami warning in Hawaii, American Samoa, and Guam. Here's the story...

Not much from the White House yet on the earthquake in Chile. But it's still very early.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told a pool reporter that, "We are closely monitoring the situation, including the potential for a tsunami. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Chile, and we stand ready to help in this hour of need."

Chile was rocked by an 8.8 magnitude earthquake earlier this morning.

President Michelle Bachelet said there were more than 85 deaths just in the Maule region at the quake's epicenter, and that more were possible, according to Reuters.

President Obama is in Chevy Chase this morning watching daughter Sasha's basketball game.

In Pictures: Early images from earthquake in Chile

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