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Author Topic: Breaking News: 8.8-magnitude earthquake hits central Chile  (Read 10743 times)
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« on: February 27, 2010, 06:24:48 AM »

8.8-magnitude earthquake hits central Chile
By EVA VERGARA, Associated Press Writer Eva Vergara, Associated Press Writer   – 7 mins ago
SANTIAGO, Chile – A massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck Chile early Saturday, collapsing buildings, killing at least 16 people and downing phone lines. President Michele Bachelet declared a "state of catastrophe" in central Chile and said the death toll was rising.

Tsunami warnings were issued over a wide area, including South America, Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand, Japan, the Philippines, Russia and many Pacific islands.

"We have had a huge earthquake, with some aftershocks," Bachelet said, appealing from an emergency response center for Chileans to remain calm. "Despite this, the system is functioning. People should remain calm. We're doing everything we can with all the forces we have. Any information we will share immediately."

Bachelet said early reports were that 16 people had been killed, and "without a doubt, with an earthquake of this magnitude, there will be more deaths."

In the 2 1/2 hours following the 90-second quake, the U.S. Geological Survey reported 11 aftershocks, of which five measured 6.0 or above.

She urged people to avoid traveling in the dark, since traffic lights are down, to avoid causing more fatalities.

The quake hit 200 miles (325 kilometers) southwest of the capital, Santiago, at a depth of 22 miles (35 kilometers) at 3:34 a.m. (0634 GMT; 1:34 a.m. EST), the U.S. Geological Survey reported.
The epicenter was just 70 miles (115 kilometers) from Concepcion, Chile's second-largest city, where more than 200,000 people live along the Bio Bio river, and 60 miles from the ski town of Chillan, a gateway to Andean ski resorts that was destroyed in a 1939 earthquake.

In Santiago, the capital, modern buildings are built to withstand earthquakes, but many older ones were heavily damaged, including the Nuestra Senora de la Providencia church, whose bell tower collapsed. An apartment building's two-level parking lot also flattened onto the ground floor, smashing about 50 cars whose alarms and horns rang incessantly. A bridge just outside the capital also collapsed, and at least one car flipped upside down.

In the coastal city of Vina del Mar, the earthquake struck just as people were leaving a disco, Julio Alvarez told Radio Cooperativa in Santiago. "It was very bad, people were screaming, some people were running, others appeared paralyzed. I was one of them."

Bachelet said she was declaring a "state of catastrophe" in 3 central regions of the country, and that while emergency responders were waiting for first light to get details, it was evident that damage was extensive.

She said the initial death toll was 16, "but we cannot dismiss the possibility of more," and encouraged people to stay home and not travel unless strictly necessary.

Several hospitals have been evacuated due to earthquake damage, she said, and communications with the city of Concepcion remained down. She planned to tour the affected region as quickly as possible to get a better idea of the damage.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center  called for "urgent action to protect lives and property" in Hawaii, which is among 53 nations and territories subject to tsunami warnings.

A huge wave reached a populated area in the Robinson Crusoe Islands, 410 miles (660 kilometers) off the Chilean coast, Bachelet said. There were no immediate reports of major damage there, she added.

"Sea level readings indicate a tsunami was generated. It may have been destructive along coasts near the earthquake epicenter and could also be a threat to more distant coasts," the warning center said. It did not expect a tsunami along the west of the U.S. or Canada but was continuing to monitor the situation.

The largest earthquake ever recorded struck the same area of Chile on May 22, 1960. The magnitude-9.5 quake killed 1,655 people and left 2 million homeless. The tsunami that it caused killed people in Hawaii, Japan and the Philippines and caused damage to the west coast of the United States.
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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2010, 06:33:07 AM »

http://www.prh.noaa.gov/ptwc/?region=1&id=pacific.2010.02.27.064454
Tsunami Information     Earthquake Information
Message Time:    27 Feb 2010 06:46 UTC
Message Num:    001
Message Text:    click to read
Message Type:    a Tsunami Warning and Watch Are in Effect
Warning:    
Watch:    
ETAs / Obs:    none
   
Origin Time:    27 Feb 2010 06:34 UTC
Magnitude:    8.5 Mwp (reviewed by PTWC)
Latitude:    36.1° S
Longitude:    72.6° W
Depth:    55 km (34.2 mi)
Location:    Near Coast of Central Chile
More Info.:    updated earthquake information from the USGS NEIC


NOTE: PTWC earthquake parameters are only preliminary.
The USGS National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) is the official source for earthquake information.         USGS
 
Did you feel it? Report a felt earthquake.  http://www.prh.noaa.gov/ptwc/jump.php?site=http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/dyfi.php
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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2010, 07:16:39 AM »

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/8540473.stm
In pictures: Chile earthquake
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« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2010, 07:20:04 AM »

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/world/view/20100227-255665/At-least-64-dead-as-huge-88-quake-rocks-Chile
At least 64 dead as huge 8.8 quake rocks Chile


Agence France-Presse
First Posted 15:12:00 02/27/2010

Filed Under: Earthquake

SANTIAGO—(UPDATE 5) A huge 8.8-magnitude earthquake rocked Chile early Saturday killing at least 64 people, toppling buildings and triggering a tsunami warning around the Pacific rim of fire, officials said.

The massive quake plunged much of the Chilean capital, Santiago, into darkness as it snapped power lines and severed communications, and Agence France-Presse journalists spoke of walls and masonry collapsing. People in pyjamas fled onto the streets.

Residents in the south of the city, which appeared to have borne the brunt of the temblor, said roads had crumpled and a bridge had been damaged, as an AFP correspondent said buildings "shook like jelly."

Japan's meteorological agency also warned of a tsunami risk across large areas of the Pacific including as far away as the Antarctic as the Philippines warned low lying coastal areas to prepare for a possible evacuation.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said that the tremor could generate a destructive tsunami that could hit coastlines on the eastern side of the archipelago.

"No evacuation order is in effect but communities along the east coast of the country are advised to wait for further information and to prepare for possible evacuation," Phivolcs said in an advisory.

Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum told the Inquirer that the issuance of the tsunami alert at 3:10 p.m. is standard operating procedure for the Phivolcs. “This is to remind the public that there was a strong earthquake in another part of the world that could cause a tsunami. It would be best for the public to be prepared.”

He added that in 1960, a magnitude 9.5 earthquake hit Chile, the strongest recorded earthquake in history. That quake caused waves as high as six meters to reach the country 24 hours after the actual quake. “We cannot lower our guard here.”

Chilean President Michele Bachelet and her officials rushed to their offices to coordinate disaster relief, state television said, as powerful aftershocks panicked the population of the quake-prone Latin American country.

Officials urged terrified residents to try to stay calm and to remain in their homes.

"With the quake of this magnitude, we cannot rule out other casualties," Bachelet said.
The quake struck at 3:34 am local time (0634 GMT) when many Chileans were still in nightclubs partying at the start of the weekend.

It was swiftly followed by a series of aftershocks ranging from 5.6 to 6.9 on the Moment Magnitude Scale.

Santiago lies 325 kilometers (200 miles) northeast of the epicenter of the quake, which hit at a depth of 35 kilometers (21.7 miles).

It struck 100 kilometers (60 miles) northwest of the Chilean town of Chillan, the US Geological Survey said, and 115 kilometers (70 miles) northeast of Concepcion, a city of about a million people.

The US Pacific Tsunami warning center issued a tsunami warning for Chile and Peru, and a tsunami watch for its regional neighbors Ecuador, Colombia, Antarctica, all of Central America and French Polynesia.

"Sea level readings indicate a tsunami was generated," the center said. "It may have been destructive along coasts near the earthquake epicenter and could also be a threat to more distant coasts."

Authorities should take "appropriate action," it added, but said the warning did not apply to the west coast of the United States.

"There is a possibility that tsunami will widely occur in the Pacific Ocean," an official for the Japanese meteorological agency said. "We are now checking if tsunami may hit Japanese coastal areas."

Asian nations have been on heightened alert ever since a massive 2004 tsunami that killed more than 220,000 people around the Indian Ocean.

Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama ordered his government to be prepared to offer support for victims if necessary, Jiji Press reported.

"Swift action should be required," Hatoyama told reporters. "It appears to be fairly sizable. I told ministries concerned to be ready to take measures in case relief assistance is needed."
US seismologists had initially put the magnitude of the tremor at 8.5 but later adjusted it to 8.8.

Earthquake-prone Chile lies along the Pacific rim of fire and is regularly rocked by temblors, but damage is often limited as they mostly hit in desert regions which are sparsely populated.

In May 1960 the country was ravaged what is now known as Valdivia or Great Chilean Earthquake, which was rated 9.5 on the moment magnitude scale.

The resulting tsunami affected southern Chile, Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, reaching as far as eastern New Zealand and southeast Australia.

The estimated death toll from that disaster ranged from over 2,200 to 5,700. With a report from Alcuin Papa, Philippine Daily Inquirer
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« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2010, 07:23:13 AM »

Video and article
Massive earthquake, aftershocks rattle Chile; tsunami warning issued
February 27, 2010 7:07 a.m. EST
http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americas/02/27/chile.quake/index.html?hpt=P1
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« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2010, 08:37:39 AM »

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2010/02/27/international/i051803S67.DTL&type=science
Chile earthquake generates cross-Pacific tsunami
By ERIC TALMADGE, Associated Press Writer

Saturday, February 27, 2010
02-27) 05:18 PST TOKYO, Japan (AP) --

People in Hawaii were urgently told to protect lives and property from a tsunami crossing the Pacific as fast as a jetliner after a devastating earthquake in Chile.

Tsunami waves were likely to hit Asian, Australian and New Zealand shores within 24 hours of the earthquake, which struck early Saturday on Chile's coast.

Though notoriously hard to predict, the tsunami was not expected to be as devastating as the waves generated after a magnitude-9.5 earthquake hit Chile in 1960. Most countries, awaiting further data, did not order evacuations Saturday but instead advised people in low-lying areas to watch for further updates.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii advised that a tsunami was possible in the northern Pacific, including the U.S. West Coast and Alaska.

"Sea-level readings confirm that a tsunami has been generated which could cause widespread damage," the center said in a bulletin after the magnitude-8.8 quake. "Authorities should take appropriate action to respond to this threat."

The center noted that tsunami wave heights are difficult to predict because they can vary significantly along a coast due to the local topography.

Some Pacific nations in the warning area were heavily damaged by a tsunami last year. On Sept. 29, a tsunami spawned by a magnitude-8.3 earthquake killed 34 people in American Samoa, 183 in Samoa and nine in Tonga. Scientists later said that wave was 46 feet (14 meters) high.

Past South American earthquakes have had deadly effects across the Pacific.

A tsunami after the magnitude-9.5 quake that struck Chile in 1960, the largest earthquake ever recorded, killed about 140 people in Japan, 61 in Hawaii and 32 in the Philippines. That tsunami was about 3.3 to 13 feet (one to four meters) in height, Japan's Meteorological Agency said.

The tsunami from Saturday's quake was likely to be much smaller because the quake itself was not as strong.

Japanese public broadcaster NHK quoted earthquake experts as saying the tsunami would likely be tens of centimeters (inches) high and reach Japan in about 22 hours. A tsunami of 28 centimeters (11 inches) was recorded after a magnitude-8.4 earthquake near Chile in 2001.

The Meteorological Agency said it was still investigating the likelihood of a tsunami from the magnitude-8.8 quake and did not issue a formal coastal warning.

Australia, meanwhile, was put on a tsunami watch.

The Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami warning Saturday night for a "potential tsunami threat" to New South Wales state, Queensland state, Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island. Any potential wave would not hit Australia until Sunday morning local time, it said.

The Philippine Institute of Vulcanology and Seismology issued a low-level alert saying people should await further notice of a possible tsunami. It did not recommend evacuations.

Seismologist Fumihiko Imamura, of Japan's Tohoku University, told NHK that residents near ocean shores should not underestimate the power of a tsunami even though they may be generated by quakes thousands of miles (kilometers) away.

There is the possibility that it could reach Japan without losing its strength," he said.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2010/02/27/international/i051803S67.DTL&type=science#ixzz0gk8cfDbd






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« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2010, 08:51:24 AM »

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,587588,00.html

Hawaii Officials Reportedly to Evacuate Coastal Areas After Chile Quake Triggers Tsunami Warning

Saturday , February 27, 2010

EWA BEACH, Hawaii  —
Hawaii officials are reportedly planning to evacuate coastal areas and residents living in flooding zones as soon as the sun rises in the islands Saturday.

Hawaii braced for a potentially damaging tsunami, generated by the massive earthquake struck central Chile.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami warning — its highest alert — for Hawaii, where incoming waves could cause damage along the coastlines across the island chain. A warning was also in effect for Guam, American Samoa and dozens of other Pacific islands.

The first waves were expected to arrive in Hawaii at 11:19 a.m. Saturday (4:19 p.m. EST).

Oahu Civil Defense officials have posted an evacuation zone map on their Web site and say the evacuation zones can also be found on the white pages in phone books, KHON2.com reported.

The evacuations will begin at 6 a.m. Saturday (11 a.m. EST), KHON2.com reported.

The state planned to sound warning sirens statewide at 6 a.m. to alert residents and tourists of the incoming tsunami, said Shelly Ichishita, spokeswoman for state civil defense.

A lower-grade tsunami advisory was in effect for the coast of California and an Alaskan coastal area from Kodiak to Attu islands.

The Ewa Beach, Hawaii-based center called for "urgent action to protect lives and property" in Hawaii, which is among 53 nations and territories subject to tsunami warnings.

"The main thing is we want everyone to take this event seriously," said Charles McCreery, director of the center.

McCreery said he didn't know how big the waves will be, but he expected them to be the largest to hit Hawaii since 1964.

People in coastal areas, such as tourist-filled Waikiki, will then be instructions on a possible evacuation. The sirens will also be sounded again three hours prior to the estimated arrival time.

"If you're in an evacuation zone, police or civil defense volunteers would instruct you to evacuate, or instructions will come out over the radio and TV," she said.

If coastal areas are evacuated, visitors in Waikiki would be moved to higher floors in their hotels, rather than moved out of the tourist district, which could cause gridlock.

Ichishita said people who are not in evacuation zones to stay away from coastal areas.

Despite the incoming waves, the state was calm through the night with no signs of panic.

"We've got a lot of things going for us," McCreery said. "We have a reasonable lead time. The evacuation should all take place during daylight hours, and wave impact should be during daylight hours.

"We should be able to alert everyone in harm's way to move out of the evacuation zones."

Barry Hirschon, also of the Tsunami center, said the advisory for the California coast and parts of Alaska was the agency's lowest level alert.

"It's a heads up that there's been a tsunami event and it could affect the coasts later," Hirschon told CNN. "I don't think it will be updated to a warning."

The largest earthquake ever recorded struck the same area of Chile in 1960. The deadly wave that it caused raced across the Pacific and hit the Hilo area of the Big Island, where 61 people were killed.
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« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2010, 08:54:46 AM »

http://www.khon2.com/content/news/breakingnews/story/UPDATE-Hawaii-Under-Tsunami-Warning/T5FaAtxjb0i1QGVFkSZWpA.cspx


UPDATE: Hawaii Under Tsunami Warning

Last Update: 2:32 am

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has issued a tsunami warning for the State of Hawaii effective 12:46 a.m.

A tsunami warning means that a destructive wave, or waves, may have been generated by an 8.8 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Chile at 8:34 p.m. HST on Friday.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center estimates the first wave arrival time in Hawaii will be at about 11:19 a.m. today, Saturday, February 27, at Hilo.


Outdoor siren systems in each county will sound simultaneously at 6:00 a.m. to alert residents and visitors to evacuate coastal areas.

Residents will be advised by their respective county civil defense or emergency management agencies to evacuate coastal areas.

Residents are urged to follow civil defense instructions.

To determine whether or not you live or work in an evacuation zone, go to www.scd.hawaii.gov and enter your address in the Tsunami Evacuation Zone Mapping Tool, or check the Disaster Preparedness Guide in the front of your telephone directory.

FYI - Hawaii is 2 hours behind Pacific time so right now it's 3:54am in Hawaii
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« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2010, 09:08:03 AM »

Live Coverage From Chile
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/tv-de-chile


Webcam chat at Ustream
« Last Edit: February 27, 2010, 09:21:20 AM by klaasend » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2010, 11:33:00 AM »

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSNLDE61Q02O20100227?type=marketsNews
UPDATE 11-Massive earthquake strikes Chile, 122 dead
Quake kills at least 122 people

Stocks

* Buildings toppled, bridges and roads damaged

* Operations halted at two major copper mines (Updates with death toll, adds details)

By Alonso Soto

SANTIAGO, Feb 27 (Reuters) - A huge magnitude-8.8 earthquake struck Chile early on Saturday, killing at least 122 people, knocking down homes and hospitals, and triggering a tsunami that rolled menacingly across the Pacific.

TV Chile reported that a 15-storey building collapsed in the hardest-hit city of Concepcion, where buildings caught fire, major highway bridges collapsed and cracks opened up in the streets. Cars turned upside down lay scattered across one damaged bridge.

Residents huddled in streets full of rubble of masonry and glass from destroyed homes. Many were terrified by powerful aftershocks and desperately trying to call friends and family.

Chilean President-elect Sebastian Pinera said 122 people had been killed and the death toll could climb higher.

Tsunami warnings were posted around the Pacific, including the U.S. state of Hawaii, Japan and Russia.

Telephone and power lines were down in much of central Chile, making it difficult to assess the full extent of the damage close to the epicenter.

Chile is the world's No. 1 copper producer, and the quake halted operations at two major mines.

"Never in my life have I experienced a quake like this, it's like the end of the world," one man told local television from the city of Temuco, where the quake damaged homes and forced staff to evacuate the regional hospital.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake struck 70 miles (115 km) northeast of Concepcion at a depth of 22 miles (35 km) at 3:34 a.m. (0634 GMT).

The capital Santiago, about 200 miles (320 km) north of the epicenter, was also badly hit. The international airport was closed for at least 24 hours as the quake destroyed passenger walkways and shook glass out of doors and windows.

Chile's Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, suspended operations at its El Teniente and Andina mines, but reported no major damage and said it expected the mines to be up and running in the "coming hours."
 Production was halted at the Los Bronces and El Soldado copper mines, owned by Anglo American Plc (AAL.L), but Chile's biggest copper mine, Escondida, was operating normally.

Chile produces about 34 percent of world supply of copper, which is used in electronics, cars and refrigerators.

TSUNAMI

President Michelle Bachelet said a huge wave hit the Juan Fernandez islands. Radio stations reported serious damage on the archipelago, where Scottish sailor Alexander Selkirk was marooned in the 18th Century inspiring the novel Robinson Crusoe.

Bachelet, who flew over the worst-affected area, said residents were also being evacuated from coastal areas of Chile's remote Easter Island, a popular tourist destination in the Pacific famous for its towering Moai stone statues.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a Pacific-wide tsunami warning for countries in Latin America, and as far away as the U.S. state of Hawaii as well as Japan, Russia, Philippines, Indonesia and the South Pacific. French Polynesia was also put on alert.

"Chile probably got the brunt force of the tsunami already. So probably the worst has already happened in Chile," said Victor Sardina, geophysicist at the warning center.

"The tsunami was pretty big too. We reported some places around 8 feet. And it's quite possible it would be higher in other areas," he added.

An earthquake of magnitude 8 or over can cause "tremendous damage," the USGS says. The Jan. 12 quake that devastated Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince was measured as magnitude 7.0.

Bachelet urged people to stay calm and to remain at home to avoid road accidents. "With a quake of this size we undoubtedly can't rule out more deaths and probably injuries," she said.

FLAMES, LOOTING

Local television showed a building in flames in Concepcion, one of Chile's largest cities with around 670,000 inhabitants. Some residents looted pharmacies and a collapsed grains silo, hauling off bags of wheat, television images showed.

Broken glass and chunks of concrete and brick were strewn across roads and several strong aftershocks rattled jittery residents in the hours after the initial quake.

In the moments after the quake, people streamed onto the streets of the Chilean capital hugging each other and crying.

"My house is completely destroyed, everything fell over ... it has been totally destroyed. Me and wife huddled in a corner and after hours they rescued us," said one elderly man in central Santiago.
 There were blackouts in parts of Santiago. Emergency officials said buildings in the historic quarters of two southern cities had been badly damaged and local radio said three hospitals had partially collapsed.

In 1960, Chile was hit by the world's biggest earthquake since records dating back to 1900. The 9.5 magnitude quake devastated the south-central city of Valdivia, killing 1,655 people and sending a tsunami which battered Easter Island 2,300 miles (3,700 km) off Chile's Pacific seaboard and continued as far as Hawaii, Japan and the Philippines.

Saturday's quake shook buildings as far away as Argentina's Andean provinces of Mendoza and San Juan. A series of strong aftershocks rocked Chile's coastal region from Valdivia in the south to Valparaiso, about 500 miles (800 km) to the north.

The United Nations and the White House said they were closely monitoring the situation in Chile and the potential threat of tsunamis in the Pacific.

A State Department official said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was being kept apprised of the situation in Chile, which she is due to visit on Tuesday on a Latin American tour. (Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu in Washington, Helen Popper, Kevin Gray and Guido Nejamkis in Buenos Aires; Editing by Kieran Murray)
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« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2010, 11:37:38 AM »

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8540621.stm
Page last updated at 15:42 GMT, Saturday, 27 February 2010
UK relief charity teams fly to Chile earthquake zone

Specialist teams from British charities are being sent to Chile after a massive earthquake in the South American country left scores dead.

Prime Minster Gordon Brown said Britain would do whatever it could to help after the quake in the centre of Chile.

Aid organisations including Oxfam and Save the Children have made an urgent appeal for donations as emergency teams prepare to fly in to the affected area.

Worried UK-based relatives have been contacting Chile's embassy in London.

Rafael Moreno, the Chilean ambassador, said: "One girl studying for a degree in London phoned me because her family is on the spot where the earthquake reached almost nine.
"She was in tears, so I calmed her down and told her I will personally do research about the family and I will call her as soon as I have information."

Oxfam is sending a team of water engineers and logisticians from Colombia and is also contacting partner organisations in Chile so that the humanitarian response is as fast as possible.

Jeremy Loveless, Oxfam's deputy humanitarian director, said: "Chile is a developed country with a very capable government and while it is unlikely that this disaster will be as severe as what we saw last month in Haiti, we want to be in place to help as soon as possible."

'Challenging situation'

A spokesman for Save the Children said: "We are assessing the situation and preparing to mobilise teams to support our partners working on the ground."

The charity is also working in Haiti following the earthquake which left thousands dead there in January.

Matt Wingate, emergencies adviser for the charity, said: "It's a challenging situation to have two in the same region so quickly after one another."

The British Red Cross released £50,000 from its Disaster Fund to support the response of the Chilean Red Cross.
Pete Garratt, British Red Cross disaster relief manager, said: "We anticipate the situation in the worst affected areas closer to the epicentre to be much more serious.

"Our fear is that this quake will have had large scale impact.

"The Chilean Red Cross are experienced in reacting to natural disasters and we are making this immediate release of funds to support their relief efforts."
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« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2010, 02:07:32 PM »

http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/americas/Chile-Earthquake-Among-Strongest-Since-1900-85697142.html
Chile Earthquake Among Strongest Since 1900

VOA News 27 February 2010
northern Santiago, Chile, 27 Feb 2010
Related Articles
Based on U.S. Geological Survey figures, Saturday's 8.8-magnitude earthquake in Chile could rank as one of the most powerful in history.

If the magnitude of the Chilean earthquake stands, it would be tied as the fifth-strongest earthquake recorded since 1900, when records were first kept.  An earthquake off the coast of Ecuador in 1906 also was recorded to have a magnitude of 8.8.

The most powerful earthquake recorded also occurred in Chile, in 1960.  It had a magnitude of 9.5.  In southern Chile alone, that earthquake killed approximately 1,655 people, left about two million homeless, and caused $550 million in damage.

The strongest earthquake in recent years - and the third strongest since 1900 - was a magnitude 9.1 earthquake off the coast of Sumatra in 2004. That quake spawned the tsunami that killed almost 228,000 people in South Asia.

The 1960 Chile earthquake generated a tsunami that caused 61 deaths and $75 million of damage in Hawaii, 138 deaths and $50 million damage in Japan, and another 32 dead and missing in the Philippines.  It also caused $500,000 in damage on the west coast of the United States.

Paul Caruso of the National Earthquake information Center tells VOA that seismologists began recording earthquake magnitude in 1925, and applied those measurements to modern earthquakes dating back to 1900.
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« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2010, 02:09:46 PM »

Developing Story:  Hawaii 'Not Taking Any Chances' in Preparing for Quake-Fueled Tsunami 
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/02/27/offers-help-earthqake-ravaged-chile
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« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2010, 10:28:08 AM »

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,587616,00.html
Report: 100 Trapped in Collapsed Building in Chile

Sunday, February 28, 2010

 As many as 100 people are trapped in the rubble of a building that collapsed Saturday in the quake-ravaged city of Concepcion, the city's mayor told Reuters.

Concepcion's mayor Jacqueline van Rysselberghe said on national television that "time is of the essence to save the people" stuck in a 14-story building and criticized the government's slow response in the aftermath of Saturday's 8.8-magnitude quake.

"It's a shame that rescue teams could not come to Concepcion yesterday," she said.

Local police resources were diverted to deal with looters, who were seen in Chilean news reports carrying away boxes with food as well as washing machines and plasma TVs before being dispersed with water cannons and tear gas.

Slide Show http://www.foxnews.com/slideshow/world/2010/02/27/massive-quake-rocks-chile
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« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2010, 10:39:11 AM »

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Chile_Earthquake/chile-earthquake-displaces-millions-sending-families-streets-tent/story?id=9969021

Chile Earthquake Leaves Millions Homeless, Grazes Hawaii
Hundreds of People Are Dead and Millions Displaced; Tsunami Laps at Hawaii
With 214 people confirmed dead and the death toll expected to rise, Chilean rescue workers rushed to save people trapped by Saturday's massive earthquake -- including dozens feared inside a collapsed apartment block in the city of Concepcion.
"It was a catastrophe of devastating consequences," said outgoing Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, according to The Associated Press.

The 8.8 magnitude earthquake was one of the most intense ever measured. More than half a million homes were destroyed in an event scientists said was 500 times stronger than the earthquake in Haiti.

Helicopter footage showed damage to highways, entire neighborhoods leveled and other areas flooded.

Fearing that roofs or walls still could crash over them, or because they had no homes to return to, many people in Chile spent the first full night after the earthquake outdoors, ignoring government instructions to stay indoors if homes look secure. The government estimated millions of people were displaced by the quake.
Bachelet has declared a "state of catastrophe" in central Chile, though she has not requested international assistance.

"The system is functioning," she said. "People remain calm. We're doing everything we can with all the forces we have."
In the hours after Chile's quake, coastal cities from Japan to Australia were placed on alert for a tsunami. Most areas were spared widespread destruction from the waves, though some deaths were reported on a Chilean island.

Paul Simons, the U.S. ambassador to Chile, told "Good Morning America" that all American employes at the U.S. Embassy have been located.

"We have no reports of any [American] fatalities or serious injuries," Simons said.

But he added that that the embassy has had no reports from Concepcion -- the area most affected by the quake. Simons estimated there are 1,800 American citizens living in Chile.

In Concepcion, extensive damage included a newly opened 11-story apartment that toppled backward, trapping an estimated 60 people inside, the Associated Press reported. Rescuers only managed to free 16 in the first 24 hours after the earthquake, and continued to with two power saws and an electric hammer on a generator that was running out of fuel.

"It's very difficult working in the dark with aftershocks, and inside it's complicated," Paulo Klein, who was leading a group of rescue specialists from Puerto Montt, Chile, told the AP. "The apartments are totally destroyed. You have to work with great caution."

The earthquake, which hit just after 3 a.m. local time, was stronger, but much deeper than last month's Haitian earthquake, likely making the number of casualties far fewer than those in the Caribbean nation.
The Chile earthquake struck 22 miles below the surface in the Bio Bio region of the country, while the Haiti earthquake struck only six miles below the surface, according to scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey
Chile Earthquake Hit an Earthquake-Ready Nation

The three-minute-long quake struck less than 100 miles north of the southwest coastal city of Concepcion -- the second-largest city in Chile with a population of 670,000 -- but caused damage as far away as the capital Santiago, nearly 200 miles away.

Ronald Scott, an American who was staying at a hostel in Santiago when the earthquake hit, told ABC News that while he was terrified, the damage he witnessed was far less extensive than what he saw reported from Haiti.
"It was very scary," Scott said. "The first thing I did was jump underneath the first table I could find and even that was about to collapse on me."

"Everything just started jumping up and down, the lights went out and everything sounded like a railroad train," Scott said. "The buildings were shaking, but they're still standing because of the construction."

The buildings in Chile are constructed specifically to withstand earthquakes, and the country is no stranger to disaster from an unexpected quake.

"Since 1973 they've had 13 earthquakes over 7.7 magnitude," Paul Earle, a seismologist from the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Chile has the record for the world's strongest recorded earthquake -- a 9.5 magnitude quake that struck in 1960.

That earthquake sent a tsunami to Hawaii that killed 61 people and destroyed 500 homes. Tsunami waves triggered by an earthquake can travel at the speed of a jet before slamming into a distant coast as unusually high waves.

This time, Hawaiian officials cleared beaches and sounded alarms for hours before the expected arrival of the tsunami.

But scientists with the Pacific Tsunami Center said the island "dodged a bullet." Hawaii's tsunami waves, which hit around 1 p.m. Hawaii time, were relatively mild and did no damage.

To read all coverage click here.  http://topics.abcnews.go.com/page/Chile-Earthquake
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  ~241~ "The Longer You Love,The Longer You Live,The Stronger You Feel,The More You Can Give."
~ Peter Frampton
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