Thursday, April 03, 2014

A strong 7.8-magnitude aftershock and an earlier 6.4-magnitude rocked Chile’s northern coast today (April 3)

SANTIAGO — A strong 7.8-magnitude aftershock and an earlier 6.4-magnitude rocked Chile’s northern coast today (April 3) even as Chilean authorities assessed the damage from a massive earthquake that struck off the northern coast on Tuesday. There are no immediate reports of new damage or injuries from today’s aftershocks.

Tuesday’s 8.2 magnitude quake that shook northern Chile on Tuesday killed six people and triggered a tsunami with 2m waves.

As the ocean waves receded, over 900,000 people who had evacuated the country’s low-lying coastal areas returned to their homes, some to find their houses and livelihoods in ruins. More than 2,600 homes were damaged and fishing boats along the northern coast were smashed up. However, most infrastructure held up and mines in the world’s No. 1 copper producer were generally functioning normally. The arid, mineral-rich north is sparsely populated, with most of the population concentrated in the port towns of Iquique and Arica, near the Peruvian border. In Peru, the earthquake led to temporary power outages and evacuations in some southern towns, but did not cause serious damage or injuries. Chilean President Michelle Bachelet visited Iquique yesterday and praised people’s orderly response to the emergency. “We are here to recognise the calm behaviour of the people of Iquique who showed great civic responsibility, as did those of Arica. I think you have given us all a tremendous example,” she said. The government would put great effort into restoring services, she added. Finance Minister Alberto Arenas said the government would place “no limit on the use of resources to address this emergency.” Ms Bachelet, who was sworn in as president less than a month ago, is likely conscious of the stinging criticism she faced near the end of her first term in office in 2010, when the government was seen to have responded inadequately to a much bigger 8.8 quake and tsunami that killed over 500 people.

It was too early to estimate financial losses, but they were expected to be much lower than the US$30 billion (S$38 million) from the 2010 quake, which affected the more densely populated central region, said earthquake expert Alexander Allmann at reinsurer Munich Re. “The quake has caused severe damage to some buildings in the affected region, but in general the building standards in Chile are comparatively high, allowing buildings and infrastructure to withstand such quakes reasonably well,” said Mr Allmann. “The small tsunami triggered by the quake is not expected to have caused significant damage.” Small fishing vessels in the ports appeared to be among the worst affected. “We struggled just to be able to get a bigger boat and now look at it,” a woman from Iquique’s fishing community, in tears, said in a video posted on Reuters. Several smaller aftershocks, some as big as 5.2 magnitude, continued yesterday and some ports in the area remained closed........



  1. Aftershock of 7.8 shakes Chile's north coast...

    US Geological Survey says powerful aftershock hits coast after magnitude-8.2 quake on Tuesday.

    The US Geological Survey says a powerful 7.8-magnitude aftershock has rocked Chile's northern coast, which was hit by a powerful magnitude-8.2 earthquake on Tuesday night.

    It caused buildings to shake in the port of Iquique, which saw some damage from the big quake on Tuesday. There were no immediate reports of new damage or injuries from Wednesday's aftershock.

    Al Jazeera's Lucia Newman, reporting from the Chilean capital Santiago, said a tsunami warning had been sounded in Iquique and that people were running to high ground. She said that power had been cut following the aftershock.

    "Fears are being pushed on radio that more larger earthquakes are on their way," Newman said. "The situation is unnerving with insecurity over what will happen next."

    The latest tremor came 45 minutes after a strong 6.4-magnitude aftershock shook the same area.

    The stronger aftershock's epicenter was 23km south of Iquique. The USGS said the aftershock had a depth of 20km.

    Chile's Emergency Office and navy issued a tsunami alert and ordered a precautionary evacuation of low-lying areas on the northern coast.

    Chile's President Michelle Bachelet, who was visiting the area to assess damages after Tuesday's quake, was evacuated from her hotel in the northern city of Arica, according to local media reports.

  2. 7.6 aftershock hits same area of northern Chile as Tuesday's 8.2 quake...

    A 7.6-magnitude aftershock has rocked the same area of northern Chile where a massive 8.2 earthquake struck on Tuesday. The earlier quake, which caused a tsunami, killed six people and forced almost one million others to evacuate.

    The Wednesday quake occurred just before 02:43 GMT off the northern coast of Chile, 19 km (14 miles) south of Iquique, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). The epicenter of the latest quake was located at a shallow depth of 40 km (24.9 miles).

    Chile’s emergency ministry has ordered a preventative evacuation along the northern Chilean coastline.

    However there have been no official reports of damage or injury in Chile or Peru, according to Reuters.

    A tsunami warning issued for Chile and Peru has been canceled, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

    “Based on all available data a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected,” it said earlier. However minor tsunami waves did hit the northern coast of the country.

    Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has been evacuated from the Arica coast, local media has reported.

    Aftershocks measuring magnitudes of 5.6 and 5.8 occurred after the 7.6 quake, according to the USGS. Both were located around 70 to 75 km (43 to 46 miles) southwest of Inquique.............................

  3. Séisme au Chili : magnitude révisée à la hausse à 7,8...

    Un séisme de magnitude 7,8 a frappé mercredi soir l'extrême nord du Chili, 24 heures après un premier séisme de magnitude 8,2, déclenchant une nouvelle alerte au tsunami, ont indiqué les autorités.

    Le séisme s'est produit à 23H43 locales (01H43 GMT) à 20 km au sud de la ville d'Iquique et « en raison du niveau de la magnitude on est passé à l'état d'alerte au tsunami » sur toute la côte chilienne, a indiqué le Service hydrographique et océanographique de l'armée chilienne (Shoa).
    Lire la suite:


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