<ul><li>On February 27 th at 3:47am local time a magnitude 8.8 earthquake shook over six of Chile’s fifteen regions, or 80% of the country’s entire population, for roughly 90 seconds. The epicenter was located near Concepci ón, Chile’s second largest city. The long initial shakes were shortly followed by a tsunami that left many southern Chilean port cities devastated, and 53 other countries with tsunami warnings. </li></ul>
The quake wreaked havoc on the highways. It toppled bridges and overpasses.
It even tore the roads apart, and in some places made them impassable, greatly slowing the response time of rescue and aide workers
This photo shows how the tsunami waves moved outward and left many other countries on high alert.
The coastal cities of southern and central Chile were soon in danger of the tsunami waves created by the quake. The waves, in many cities, quickly destroyed what the quake had not.
For the people of these costal cities, not only had the earthquake and tsunami taken their homes, but destroyed their jobs too as fishing is the driving force of the economy in this area.
Though the population of Concepci ón makes it Chile’s second largest city (following Santiago), the number of people and tourist in and around the area was increased even more since the near by city of Constitución was holding its annual summer festival Noche Veneciana. As people began to look for loved ones and friends, the number of missing and dead started to rise. It peaked right over 800, but due to a mistake that added 250 missing to the list of those reported dead, the number was lowered again. Later on the government would decide to release just the number of identified dead to try to reduce error and confusion. Two to three days after the initial quake the first images out of Concepción were release and the world saw just how daunting of a task the people and rescue workers were facing.
Because of the 9.5 magnitude earthquake of 1960 in Valdivia, building codes in Chile are very strict, and every new building most abide by them
But even so, this new 15 story apartment complex was no match for the quake…
It collapsed, trapping many of the residents. Of the 80 people it held, it is reported that there were only 8 casualties. A father and his 7 year daughter old on the 13 th floor miraculously survived the fall.
Rescue workers have spent night and day finding survivors and helping free them from their once home.
While the Chilean people have done an outstanding job putting the country back together, they still need help. Looting was a problem in many of the affected areas and the military was eventually sent in to impose curfews and stop the looting of non-vital goods (like TVs and computers). The government; however, reached a deal with many of the companies that allowed the military to give out food and basic necessities to the people for free. Now things like field hospitals, equipment, and water purification systems are items being requested by Chile.
Collapsed buildings and those deemed unstable and/or dangerous are now being demolished. Locals have come together to clean up the rubble and debris. The university students have responded too and have volunteered their time, donated blood, and built houses and water systems for their communities.
The large need for field hospitals and equipment is a result of many hospitals being damaged in the quake.