OT- 8.8 Earthquake near Chile

Submitted by beileinball on February 27th, 2010 at 1:24 PM

Only weeks removed from the devastation in Haiti,mother nature has struck once again...this time off the coast of Chile with a monstrous 8.8 quake. This might seem like just another EQ, but it has already triggered Tsunami alerts in South America, Hawaii, and states across the West Coast. Hopefully this does not cause as much devastation as the Haiti EQ did--but it is times like this that we must remember the truly important things in life.





February 27th, 2010 at 3:19 PM ^

Fortunately it was centered off shore, and Chile wasn't built as shittily as Haiti, so I wouldn't expect anywhere near the level of damage.

Hopefully the tsunami never materialized, though most ocean-based earthquakes don't trigger them. There's something about the thrust of the ocean floor.

EDIT: So yeah, I was sorta wrong on both counts. The damage still won't be as bad as Haiti, but they still got pretty f'ed up. Hopefully Chile's superior infrastructure will allow assistance to reach them faster.


February 27th, 2010 at 2:35 PM ^

This is true. But when comparing it to Hawaii, they aren't really "coastal shelf" material either. I would imagine the two of them would have relatively similar tsunami wave patterns. And since Hawaii is getting all this cable news promotion on a pending tsunami, I have a feeling several uninformed viewers are going to be extremely disappointed.


February 27th, 2010 at 3:49 PM ^

Haven't you seen the movie? (and I do agree with you there has been a lot more activity in recent years but also it could just be a natural earth cycle and since humans haven't exactly kept the best records of these types of things before the 1900s is there really that much to compare this to? I think not).


February 27th, 2010 at 3:23 PM ^

I looked up Concepcion, the nearest major city. Pretty amazing that they constructed a city of 200,000 people there considering (from wikipedia):

"Due to earthquakes and tsunamis, which razed the town in 1570, 1657, 1687, 1730 and another on May 25, 1751, the authorities decided to move the town to its current location to the Valle de la Mocha, alongside the Bío-Bío River and prohibited the occupation of the old location, which remained unsettled until March 29, 1842, when the present town of Penco was founded."

"The vicinity is seismically active, with a major earthquake having a nearby epicenter in the year 1960."

So, unfortunately, they were due for another big one. Hopefully their history will have left them better prepared for this one, keeping the destruction and loss of life low.


February 28th, 2010 at 11:19 AM ^

The resultant crumblings in the San Francisco earthquake that struck during the World Series in the early 90s killed ~50 people, despite a magnitude similar to the Haiti earthquake. The death toll from the Chile earthquake is in the hundreds, according to the link below.

And while the Chile earthquake was of a devistating 8.8 magnitude at its offshore magnitude, in urban areas it appears to have been less intense than the Haiti earthquake.


PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – The earthquake in Chile was far stronger than the one that struck Haiti last month — yet the death toll in this Caribbean nation is magnitudes higher.

The reasons are simple.

Chile is wealthier and infinitely better prepared, with strict building codes, robust emergency response and a long history of handling seismic catastrophes. No living Haitian had experienced a quake at home when the Jan. 12 disaster crumbled their poorly constructed buildings.

And Chile was relatively lucky this time.

Saturday's quake was centered offshore an estimated 21 miles (34 kilometers) underground in a relatively unpopulated area while Haiti's tectonic mayhem struck closer to the surface — about 8 miles (13 kilometers) — and right on the edge of Port-au-Prince, factors that increased its destructiveness.

"Earthquakes don't kill — they don't create damage — if there's nothing to damage," said Eric Calais, a Purdue University geophysicist studying the Haiti quake.

The U.S. Geological Survey says eight Haitian cities and towns — including this capital of 3 million — suffered "violent" to "extreme" shaking in last month's 7-magnitude quake, which Haiti's government estimates killed some 220,000 people. Chile's death toll was in the hundreds.

By contrast, no Chilean urban area suffered more than "severe" shaking — the third most serious level — Saturday in its 8.8-magnitude disaster, by USGS measure. The quake was centered 200 miles (325 kms) away from Chile's capital and largest city, Santiago.


February 27th, 2010 at 3:59 PM ^

Earth goes through cycles and it does not take a scientist to tell us the Earth's core is active and not in a good mood... i pray for safety because Earthquakes leave it hard to find shelter .. and after the 1st hit it does not mean its over .. could be a long month for Chile and all coast lines in there area


February 27th, 2010 at 10:57 PM ^

Have some good friends who live on a boat in Waikiki-- just called and got their answering machine, so at least I know the boat didn't wash away and the electricity is working. (They always tie up the boat and move to a hotel during hurricanes.) Just checked a report on the NYTimes website. Headline: Hawaii Exhales After Gentle Tsunami Rolls Ashore.


February 28th, 2010 at 6:42 PM ^

This may be a ignorant question, but in English, are we really supposed to pronounce the name of the country as "Chee-LAY"? I've always been pronouncing it like "chili."