AT Evans Head they gathered at the Razorback Lookout in such numbers that some worried it might collapse under their weight.

But at Byron, they just went swimming – unconcerned that a Tsunami may be on the way, triggered by a devastating 8.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the coast of central Chile.

Beaches along the east coast of Australia were closed yesterday and emergency services were on high alert, with Tsunami waves and surges recorded from Queensland to Tasmania.

At Evans Head a surge ensured high tide peaked an hour later than predicted. Witnesses said it was between 15 and 30cm higher than anticipated.

However, it was all over in about four minutes, they said.

The Gold Coast saw a 20cm rise in sea levels, and about 17cm at Southport and Darlington in Tasmania.

The Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre, which issued the Tsunami alert, said the outgoing tide helped to subdue any potential devastating effects.

At one point the JATWC issued an immediate warning for people to exit coastal waters, but with little effect with many simply wanting to enjoy the last day of summer.

Yet, despite what the calendar says the rain continued to fall across the region yesterday, with more on the way.

The Bureau of Meteorology said a low pressure system moving across Queensland would lash the Northern Rivers over the next couple of days.

The spokesman said showers would continue on Monday with the possibility of thunderstorms developing.

Conditions should start to improve slightly on Tuesday with rain continuing but without the storm related activity.

He said while there may be some localised flooding “there is nothing leading us to believe there will be widespread flooding”.

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