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Chilean Earthquake

Central Chile was rudely awakened at 3:34AM local time [6:34 AM UTC] by an 8.8 earthquake in the trench [subduction zone] off the coast at Maule.

Since then there have been almost two more than three dozen aftershocks from Valparaiso south to Araucania, including a 6.9 off the coast at Bio-Bio at 5:01AM local [8:01 AM UTC].

Because of the location and strength of the earthquake, a tsunami alert has been issued for the Pacific that extends to Australia.

The BBC reports that the current death toll is 78 122. The relatively low number is a result of the standards put in place following most powerful earthquake in the 20th century, an 9.5 in Chile in 1960. [BBC map of the area affected.]

Update: the death toll is now over 200. In addition to the 70+ aftershocks in Chile, the quake was the probable cause of a 7.0 earthquake near Okinawa on the opposite side of the Pacific plate. The tsunami was only 6 feet [1.8 meters] when it reached Hawaii, and was lost in the bad weather off the US Pacific coast.

11 comments

1 cookie jill { 02.27.10 at 9:42 am }

welcome to the “ring of fire”….but it is better to be in a country that has earthquake building codes and a good education on the whole “shaking” thing process (chile) than to be in a country that seems to have had absolutely no building codes (haiti)
.-= last blog ..our hearts go out to chile =-.

2 Bryan { 02.27.10 at 11:30 am }

You need actual buildings to need codes, and under the Duvaliers they built monuments, not buildings.

Actually, they have codes in Haiti. They are another excuse for a bribe. Buildings only have to stand until the checks clear the bank on their way off-shore. It isn’t the existence of codes, it is the enforcement that matters.

3 cookie jill { 02.27.10 at 1:14 pm }

Santa Barbara (as well as other coastal cities up the CA/OR/WA coast) is under tsunami warnings. SB isn’t that much above sea level. Let’s see if the Channel Islands to their protective thing and keep us from having too much damage. Although, we had a major tsunami in 1812 that washed away a good portion of what is now “downtown.” (although it was just huts and stuff back then) And I think I recall seeing some photos of a tsunami that hit in the 50’s that were hanging in the SB Yacht Club at one time.
.-= last blog ..our hearts go out to chile =-.

4 Bryan { 02.27.10 at 1:55 pm }

Most of the energy seems to have been directed towards the northwest, so the US coast should be fine. There was only a 2 meter wave in Chile, so it won’t be the problem seen in Indonesia, although it kicked off a 7.0 near Okinawa, so the shock was definitely transmitted through the Pacific plate.

5 cookie jill { 02.27.10 at 6:17 pm }

Ventura received some damage in their harbor. I just keep looking at all the aftershocks, though. Holy mole. When aftershock are coming in at the 6.0+ level… you are talking some serious stuff….

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/quakes_big.php
.-= last blog ..our hearts go out to chile =-.

6 Kryten42 { 02.27.10 at 7:06 pm }

Good luck to everyone in Chile (and I hear Japan’s Ryukyu Islands also got hit by a 7 and had a tsunami warning).

Good thing Chile at least learned their lesson after the 60’s. It would have been a lot worse!

Nice to know that some people somewhere learn…

7 Bryan { 02.27.10 at 8:28 pm }

I just updated the numbers;

There have been at least a half dozen aftershocks between 6.0 and 6,9. I’ve been in a few 6s, and they are no fun especially on the Coronado Bay bridge, which is high enough for an aircraft carrier to pass underneath.

It looks like, from the videos, that several overpasses were pulled apart by the movement of the supports.

Yes, it is very fortunate that the Chileans paid attention to their “big one”.

8 cookie jill { 02.28.10 at 2:23 am }

Too bad a good portion of “Crappyfornia” isn’t paying attention to a “big one.”
.-= last blog ..our hearts go out to chile =-.

9 Bryan { 02.28.10 at 11:14 am }

No one will ever compliment the American population on its memory.

OT: Suomi did get Bronze.

10 cookie jill { 02.28.10 at 2:57 pm }

Watched a creek here in town that runs out into the ocean being pushed the wrong way by waves this morning. I think we are still getting some aftereffects from the temblor and it’s aftershocks.

Yeah, the Finns did finish with some sort of metalic medallion…but they really were “zambonied” by the USA team. Humiliation on ice. Is it bad of me to cheer on the Canucks this afternoon? Ooops. Game’s back on. Gotta go, eh. 🙂
.-= last blog ..our hearts go out to chile =-.

11 Bryan { 02.28.10 at 4:16 pm }

The West Coast probably got three feet of extra tide, on top of the storm surge you were getting from the latest system coming ashore.

OT: the weather is colder but the snow is depleting as a result. It looks like the Iditarod trail conditions are going to suck for the first third of the race and people are going to break sleds and bones as a result. The dogs should be fine as long as they have the cold temperatures, and they are wearing booties against stone cuts.