Chile Earthquake 2010 2 Chile Earthquake 2010 Summary The Chile Earthquake 2010 was initiated by the two tectonic plates that are the Nazcaplate of the east and the South American plate that conveys downwards. They converge sevenmeters per century (Earthquake Summary, 2010). The earthquake affected the Maule region ofChile where more than 500 were left dead and 2 million displaced. The magnitude was 8.8 and itoccurred at 03:34 local time (06:34:14 UTC) on the 27th February 2010. The quake lasted at least90 seconds. It later triggered a pacific tsunami that was felt as far as Santa Barbara, American ata sea level scale of 91 centimeters. Introduction Nature is unforgiving its actions are unpredictable and sometimes disastrous (Erdman,2010). Chile can bear witness to a disastrous natural accident in form of an earthquake that leftdevastating aftermath effects. Problems The trail of destruction that was left by the earthquake were immense and devastating,with more that 500 dead, more that 2 million displaced and millions of property destroyed thecountry was in a lot of problems to come to terms with the catastrophe (Grant, 2010). The majorproblem was that it occurred without notice and many were caught unaware thus many were stilltrapped in buildings rambles. There were also problems of people looting in the affected areaswhere people struggled to scoop whatever that had been left after the quake. Prison escapes werealso experienced in areas such as the El Manzano in Concepcion. Riots erupted after inmatesattempted to escape (Grant, 2010).
Chile Earthquake 2010 3 There were approximately 370,000 houses, 79 hospital, 4,013 schools and 4,200 boatswere destroyed or completely damaged in the initial quake and the consequent tsunami(Barrionuevo, & Robbins, 2010). A great economical loss was witnessed that estimated at US $30 billion. There were interruptions and effects on very vital services such as electricity, watersupply, and telecommunication (Grant, 2010). Transport systems were also affected with roadbridges collapsing and fallen buildings blocking the roads in the Valparaiso- Concepcion -Temuco area; in the Araucania, Bio-Bio, Maule, OHiggins, Region Metropolitana andValparaiso area alone more than 1.8 million persons were affected (Earthquake Summary, 2010). The effects on the interruption of crucial services such as electricity, clean water services,and telecommunications was a major problem in that it slowed down rescue operations and evenat times made it impossible to access other regions leaving no choice to rescue operations. History/background The large plate boundary earthquakes between ValparaÃso and ConcepciÃ³n havehistorically been seen as a possible cause of earthquakes that even occurred in history (Fountain,2010). The 1562 shock and a tsunami eight years later can be examples of the historic hazardousnature of the plates. Other earthquakes in the area linked to the plates include the 1730earthquake, the great ConcepciÃ³n quake of 1751 and 1835 are just examples of its potential.The great tsunami of Hawaii of 1906 that rose to heights of 3.5 m was also linked to the plates(Fountain, 2010). Chile has also seen the wrath of the plates with the 1960 quake claiming more than 1600lives, the 1985 quake of magnitude 8.5, and the 1922 quake being among the effects. The platesalso triggered quakes and subsequent tsunamis in the years 1586, 1687, 1868, and 1877.
Chile Earthquake 2010 4According to USGS there have been an overall of 13 earthquakes along the Chilean coast ofmagnitude 7.0 or greater since 1973 (Fountain, 2010). Main event The Chile Earthquake 2010 took place on the 27th February 2010 off the coast of theChilean Maule Region at 03:34 local time (06:34:14 UTC). The quake lasted for almost 90seconds and had a magnitude of 8.8 on the scale of the moment magnitude; this was way abovethat which had occurred in Haiti weeks ahead that reached the 70 (Earthquake Summary, 2010).Scale intensity. It shook through from the north i.e. Valparaiso to the south in the region ofAraucania where approximately 80% of the population lives. Arauco and Coronel citiesexperience the strongest effects that were IX on the Mercalli intensity scale; this effect was alsoexperience in the capital city Santiago that was at a destructive scale of VIII in the Mercalliintensity scale (Earthquake Summary, 2010). The quakes were also felt in the neighboring countries of Argentina where cities such asCórdoba, Buenos Aires, La Rioja, and Mendoza; and Peru as far as the city of Ica (EarthquakeSummary, 2010). In addition the country was hit by a blackout that lasted for several days andaffected a huge proportion of the population. The quaked killed more than 800 persons and leftmore than 2 million displaced. This was declared a state of catastrophe and forces were sent toassist in rescue operations and distribution of relief items (Earthquake Summary, 2010). The quake also set off a tsunami that greatly affected the coastal towns of the southernChile and also left the port of Talcahuano in ruins; the tsunami alarm was sounded in 53countries where the coasts of San Diego in California and Tohoku in Japan were affected. Thisled to losses approximated at $66.7 million (Earthquake Summary, 2010). The tsunami hadwaves that reached centimeters (above sea level) in height that were recorded in different areas
Chile Earthquake 2010 5such as 71 at Pago Pago, 91 at Santa Barbara, American Samoa; 64 at Crescent City, 26 atHonolulu, Hawaii; 22 at Winter Harbour, Canada; 60 at La Jolla, 261 at Valparaiso, and 46 atPoint Reyes, California; 181 at Talcahuano, 86 at Kahului, 164 at Coquimbo, 51 atKawaihae,144 at Corral, 40 at Nawiliwili, 118 at Arica, 90 at Caldera, 79 at San Felix, 32 at PortOrford, and 68 at Iquique, 47 at Antofagasta among other areas (Earthquake Summary, 2010). The quakes epicenter was at 35.909°S, 72.733°W in bearing which is located at theMaule region. 100 km north-northeast of Concepción; Chiles second largest city; and 11 kmsouthwest of Curanipe. The quake spread as far as 7500 km from the main source where itstarted and the effects were also felt even in New Orleans at Lake Pontchartrain (EarthquakeSummary, 2010). The earthquake occurred between two tectonic plates i.e. Nazca and the South Americanat the convergence of a 8mm rate annually. It was due to a thrust faulting focal mechanism thatwas initiated by the Nazca plate subducting beneath the South American plate. Past earthquakesthat had affected Chile before the 27th February 2010 was at Valdivia in 1960 and occurred at amagnitude of 9.5 at the richer scale (Earthquake Summary, 2010). The initial quake had a number of serial after shocks that occurred either in Chile or othercountries. The earthquake also had three aftershocks that ripped after the initial quake the firstaftershock struck after 20 minutes with a magnitude of 6.2 while the other two struck within thesame hour and were of 5.4 and 5.6 in magnitude respectively. A fourth aftershock ripped throughthe offshore 300 km southwest with a magnitude of 6.9 where it was approximately 90 minutesafter the original quake. Another serial aftershock occurred at 15:45 UTC in Salta Argentina with a 6.3 magnitudeand a 38.2 km depth on the 27th February 2010. This last aftershock left one dead and dozens
Chile Earthquake 2010 6injured. The aftershocks also continued with others occurring on March 5, 11, 15, and 17 asserial to the original quake and with different magnitude and scale. According to Oxfaminternational, 2010 there were a further 200 and above aftershocks that had magnitudes of 5.0and above that were triggered by the 2010 earthquake (Earthquake Summary, 2010). Mitigation – preparedness – response – recovery issues Chile required relief in order to overcome the effects of the quake, a massive $ 165, 000was required to help the country overcome the disaster. Though the Chilean government haddeclined international support and relief it was in dire need of the support from other countriesand international donors (Franklin, & Gabbatt, 2010). Despite the government reluctance foreigngovernments such as China, US, Argentina, Mexico and UK had sent messages of condolenceand pledge support to Chile. The United Nation and the European Union responded in giving donations in form offood relief and financial support. The military was deployed to rescue operations in the affectedregions to assist the persons that needed food and water supplies (Franklin, & Gabbatt, 2010).The response was not immediate in view of the fact that the Chilean government took time toassess the disaster and call for assistance. The Red Cross also responded and pledged $ 50,000(Franklin, & Gabbatt, 2010). There were also other campaigns over the media to help rebuildChile after the earthquake where $ 58 million was raised to assist the affected families rebuild. Conclusion The 2010 quake occurred unannounced; this has been the case in almost all quakes wherethere have been no mitigation measures put in place to prevent such disasters. World over theresponse to natural disasters has not been timely especially in developing countries. This calls formore adequate measures for response so as to save more people affected in the catastrophes.
Chile Earthquake 2010 7Emergency response teams and measures to detect natural disaster using developed technology isthe way forward in the prevention of deaths from natural disasters. The governments also have apart to play in ensuring the people are adequately provided with relief aid and the necessarysupport so that they are able to build their lives once more.
Chile Earthquake 2010 8 ReferenceBarrionuevo A. & Robbins, L. (2010).1.5 Million Displaced After Chile Quake. The New York Times. Retrieved November 28, 2010, from: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/28/world/ americas/28chile.html?_r=1Earthquake Summary, (2010). Retrieved November 28, 2010, from: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqinthenews/2010/us2010tfan/#summaryErdman, J. (February 27, 2010). "How strong & rare was quake?". The Weather Channel. Retrieved November 28, 2010, from: http://www.weather.com/outlook/weather- news/news/articles/0227-quake-perspective_2010-02-27Fountain, H. (February 27, 2010). "Underwater Plate Cuts 400-Mile Gash". The New York Times. Retrieved November 28, 2010, from: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/28/world/ americas/28quake.htmlFranklin, J & Gabbatt, A. (March 1, 2010). "Chilean military takes control of quake-hit cities". The Guardian (London). Retrieved November 28, 2010, from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/mar/01/chile-military-earthquake-cities-lootingGrant, W. (March 5, 2010). "Lawlessness after quake in Chile fishing village". BBC. Retrieved November 28, 2010, from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8550960.stm