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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Massive earthquake strikes Chile

A magnitude 8.8 earthquake struck coastal Chile Saturday a few hours before daybreak. Sine then a series of several aftershocks shook the area including one very strong 6.9 magnitude aftershock.

Chile Earthquake 2010 (Puggal)

The origin of the earthquake was at a depth of 22 miles and was centered about 200 miles southwest of Santiago. This earthquake of 27 February, 2010 is declared as the most powerful quake in last 100 years and also compared with the strongest earthquake of Ecuador.
Throughout the day Saturday, the death toll remained fairly steady around 300 -400 people. This morning the death toll jumped to over 700 people. As rescue operations are continuing, it is possible that even more bodies will be discovered. Hopefully, many more survivors will also be found and rescued.

Chilean quake toll jumps to 708 (BBC News)

The death toll from Chile's earthquake has more than doubled to 708 and is expected to rise further, President Michelle Bachelet has said.

Previously about 300 people were reported to have been killed in Saturday's 8.8 magnitude quake - one of the most powerful recorded.

Massive damage is hampering rescue teams as they struggle to reach those still buried in the rubble.

However a Pacific-wide alert for a tsunami has been lifted.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Ms Bachelet said: "The catastrophe is enormous. The latest number I have is 708 dead."

She said 541 had died in Maule region, 64 in Biobio and a total of 103 in other areas. She added that the number of people missing was growing.

Earlier, President Bachelet said two million people had been affected by the earthquake.

Chile needs much help right now. The article at the link below has information on how to reach the following aide organizations:

Chile's Earthquake 2010: How to Help Survivors (Heath & Wellness)

Doctors Without Borders


International Rescue Committee

Catholic Relief Services

TEXT a Donation - Sending a donation via text is a fast and easy way to help the earthquake survivors in Chile. Each dollar helps tremendously as aid groups struggle to help the millions of people displaced by the earthquake.

  • SALVATION ARMY: Text CHILE to 52000 to give $10.
  • RED CROSS: Text CHILE to 90999 to give $10.
  • WORLD VISION: Text CHILE to 20222 to give $10
  • HABITAT FOR HUMANITY: Text CHILE to 23583 to give $10
Fortunately the situation is not a dire as it is in Haiti. Haiti's earthquake last month was a 7.0 magnitude earthquake which was absolutely devastating. Chile is seismically active being located along the geologically active Ring of Fire so the Chileans enforce stringent building codes to address earthquakes and their economy is much more robust than Haiti's.

In addition to the poverty of Haiti, their earthquake, while weaker, hit right in the very populous capital while Chile's was located further from the cities.

Chile and Haiti: A Tale of Two Earthquakes (Time)
The 8.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Chile early on Feb. 27 was 500 times stronger than the 7.0 quake that killed an estimated 200,000 Haitians last month. And yet the number of casualties in Chile appears to be exponentially smaller, with the official death toll still in the hundreds. Far fewer people were rendered homeless than in Haiti, and much of the telephone service in Santiago and parts of central Chile had been restored within five hours.

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