Chile Earthquake Case Study: Geography

A case study of the Chile Earthquake in 2010

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Rosalyn Pearson Geography 03/03/10
At 3.34 on the 27th February 2010, an Earthquake measuring 8.8 on the
Richter scale hit the coast of the Maule Region of Chile. The earthquake
itself lasted for approximately 3 minutes. The cities that received the most
extensive damage were Talcahuano, Lota, Arauco, Chiguayante, Canate
and San Antonio. The tremors could even be
felt in the capital: Santiago. The actual epicentre
was about 8km offshore from the Maule
Region. So far a total of 799 people have been
declared dead.
Seismologists think that the earthquake was so
powerful that it may have shortened the length
of the day by 1.26 microseconds and possibly
moved the earth's axis of rotation by 3 inches!
As the earthquake occurred in the ocean, tsunami warnings were issued
across much of the Pacific including Hawaii, Japan, Australia, New Zealand
and the Philippines. In areas such as Hawaii, that had not experienced a
tsunami for many years, the coastline was almost completely evacuated
and people were warned not to attempt to surf.
Although many of the tsunamis in Hawaii and Japan were minor and did
little damage, those occurring on the coast of South America were
responsible for the vast majority of
destruction caused by the earthquake.
Many beachside buildings were
completely flattened and many insurers
are refusing to refund those that obtained
damage during the earthquake and
tsunamis that followed it. The building on

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Rosalyn Pearson Geography 03/03/10
the right has been almost entirely split in two by the earthquake.
However, although this earthquake was of a much bigger size, the scale of
casualties was not nearly as bad as in the recent earthquake that occurred
in Haiti. The main reason for this is that the Chilean government has made
efforts to reenforce buildings due to many major earthquakes that have
taken place in that area in the past.…read more


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