Chile Earthquake 2010: Facts, Engineering, News & Maps

Chileans remained dazed after an 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck the South American nation on February 27, 2010 at 03:34 local time (06:34:14 UTC), leaving homes destroyed and scores dead.¹ A strong aftershock struck on Sunday, a day after the initial tremor left hundreds of people dead and a long swath of the country in smoky rubble. The death toll was expected to rise, particularly around Concepción, Chile's second-largest metropolitan area, which is roughly 70 miles from the quake's center. While this earthquake was far stronger than the 7.0-magnitude one that ravaged Haiti six weeks ago, the damage and death toll in Chile are likely to be far less extensive, in part because of strict building codes put in place after devastating earthquakes. ²

Coastal Chile has a history of very large earthquakes: since 1973, there have been 13 events of magnitude 7.0 or greater. The February 27 shock originated about 230 km north of the source region of the magnitude 9.5 earthquake of May, 1960 - the largest earthquake worldwide in at least the last 200 years. ³


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Earthquake Facts

  • MCEER Preliminary Damage Reports
  • at least $30 billion for reconstruction effort according to Pinera BBC
  • series of 6+M aftershocks hit Chile USGS
  • 6.9 M hits Chile, 90 miles southwest of Santiago USGS report
  • Earthquake may cost insurers up to $7 billion BBC
  • $1.2 billion price tag to repair damages Wall Street Journal
  • Concepcion moved at least 10 feet to the west and Santiago about 11 inches to the west-southwest CNN
  • Strong aftershocks strike Chile NY Times
  • Death toll lowered from 805 to 279 NY Times
  • Chile hit by strong aftershocks BBC
  • Damage estimates runningas high as $30 billion Chile Says Rebuilding May Cost Tens of Billions of Dollars
  • 795 killed by quake and 2 million made homeless Guardian
  • Death toll rises to 723 Guardian
  • Earthquake List for Chile area for February 27 - March 2 USGS
  • Recent seismic activity (past week) in South America USGS
  • 1.5 million displaced NY Times
  • Meter-high tsunami hits Japan's northern coast BBC
  • Chile quake tsunami BBC
  • Limited services resume on Santiago metro and international airport BBC
  • Initial damage reports NY Times
  • Tens of thousands living outdoors because of damaged homes BBC
  • Death toll of 708 is expected to rise BBC
  • Epicenter 21 miles underground, offshore and 70 miles from nearest big city (Concepcion) BBC
  • 8.8 M earthquake hits Maule, Chile February 27 USGS Report

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