Skip to comments.Lessons Learned Limited Chile Quake Damage (Quake was 500 times more powerful than Haiti's)
Posted on 03/01/2010 8:54:53 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Government Reinforced Building Codes After The Most Powerful Earthquake in Recorded History Shook Chile in 1960.
Saturday's 8.8-magnitude earthquake in Chile is tied for fifth place on the list of most powerful quakes ever recorded, 500 times more powerful than the one that shook Haiti last month.
Though the death toll is still rising, CBS News correspondent Elaine Quijano reports lessons learned decades ago will prevent the casualties in Chile from reaching anywhere near the estimated 220,000 killed in Haiti.
Unlike in Haiti, the epicenter of Saturday's quake was 70 miles off Chile's coast, far from big cities. Also, the quake struck 22 miles underground.
Another difference here is past experience.
In 1960 Chile was rocked by a magnitude-9.5 earthquake -- the most powerful in recorded history. It killed more than 1,600 people.
Paul Simons, U.S. Ambassador to Chile explained that the experience "motivated the Chileans to build to a more sophisticated standard in the future so the housing stock, the building stock, is very, very earthquake-resistant."
Another earthquake in Chile in 1985, California's 1994 Northridge quake and another in Kobe, Japan in 1995 have all yielded valuable information needed to reinforce building codes.
"In particular one thing that is good about Chilean construction is that they build reinforced concrete buildings with lots of walls entirely made out of concrete," explained Eduardo Miranda, who teaches civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University.
Chilean officials estimate at least half-a-million homes have been severely damaged, with about 2 million people affected. It's a large-scale disaster, but not a repeat of what happened in Haiti.
(Excerpt) Read more at cbsnews.com ...
Are we going to have a WE ARE THE WORLD for CHILE Celebrity recording ? I don't think so.
Wonder if Argentina will decide that it’s now a good time to invade the Falklands again?
Isn't that like saying that 100 degrees is 100 times hotter than 1 degree?
I noted that unlike the Haitians, the Chileans actual use rebar in their buildings, which is a good start....
Here’s a first-hand description from Clive Maund, who runs a gold investment site.
A hearty thank you to those of you who sent Emails enquiring about my welfare after the massive earthquake in central and southern Chile. Although I have an apartment in Providencia in Santiago, which was undamaged, I spend most of my time with my wife in the lake district in Araucaria, which is Region 9 in southern Chile. The epicenter of the magnitude 8.8 quake was just north of Chiles second city, Conception, which is about 3 hours drive NW of where we live near Villarrica, and here the magnitude of the quake is believed to have been about 7.5 - 7.8.
The quake happened at about 3.36 am on the morning of Saturday 27th, when of course most people, include ourselves, were asleep. Our bedroom is on the second floor of a large wood framed house out in the country and we were woken abruptly by the house shaking violently, which went on for 2 to 3 minutes. Things were falling down and falling over, and the old television in the bedroom crashed down from a table, but this turned out to be about the only thing we lost in the quake. When it wouldnt stop my wife ran terrified from the house, falling over repeatedly because of the movement. At first we thought the quake was due to the giant Villarrica volcano, which we live very near, getting ready to erupt, and had no idea of the scale of the disaster. The power failed immediately so it was not possible to see what had happened on television. It was only when we had the idea to switch on the car radio that we found out that it was a huge earthquake whose worst effects stretched from where we live for over 800 kms north to beyond Santiago.
In the morning we inspected the damage to our property here, which consists of 2 houses and a party house on an area of land, and were amazed to find that there was none, apart from the aforementioned TV and a circular swimming pool circulation system cover, which had split in two. We were very fortunate as this earthquake was violent, even here, and some people in the local town were killed where some houses collapsed, and a number important local bridges were destroyed too. There was no electricity all day Saturday but it came back on at 9.10 pm that evening when we were able to see the awesome extent of the destruction between Conception and Santiago. There was devastation in Chillan and Talca, the scenic town of Curico was largely destroyed, and coastal towns and villages near Conception were wiped out by a tsunami. There was heavy damage in Santiago where the airport remains closed and freeways have been cut due to major bridge collapses etc. The remaining tourists here for the end of the Summer formed large lines at gas stations, where rationing was imposed, and then fled north, although their journeys must have been greatly impeded by all the downed bridges on the main north - south Route 5 highway. By the end of the day there was no gas in Villarrica. Anarchy erupted in Conception and elsewhere yesterday when a combination of desperate people on the hunt for food and opportunistic thieves ransacked supermarkets and stripped them. A curfew had to be imposed last night.
We have still have enough food here for the time being, although as the transport and distribution network has been temporarily severely compromised there may be shortages soon. Fortunately we live on top of a well defended hill in the country and have a plentiful supply of fresh water.
My satellite internet connection has been knocked out as the companies HQ facilities in Santiago were considerably damaged by the quake and in addition my parabolic antenna has probably been shaken out of alignment. I have contacted the company and been advised that it will be several days before service is restored. Fortunately I have an additional plug in telephone network internet service, which is working, although it often slow and sometimes loses the connection. So I should be able to resume work but will have difficulties to contend with - as I write the power has failed again.
Thanks you again for your mails of concern and support. Normal service will resume as soon as possible, which should be by the end of the week. Fortunately, after a quake of that magnitude, there probably wont be another one like it for at least 20 years in this area. Now we only have the volcano to worry about.
In Peru, they look to ancient construction of odd shaped interlocking blocks (and I think some kind of roller system).
Enforcing building codes helps.
“Enforcing building codes helps.”
Haiti’s local and national govt couldn’t find their asses with two hands and a search party.
Even before the earthquake, that country was so corrupt and inept that they couldn’t make things work - even on a good day. The billions of dollars of foreign aid brought nothing to that country - no good roads, no running water, no electrical grid.
Asking them to devise or enforce the most basic of building codes is like asking David Duke to join B’Nai Brith. It ain’t gonna happen.
The sad part is that Haiti will likely rebuild in much the same way it was - and the next earthquake will shatter it to pieces.
In part, because Chile is comparatively quite conservative compared with Haiti.
The how is 8.8 500 times greater than 7.1?
Which is why no taxpayer aid should have been given without strings attached. Send our labor down there (paid) to do the job.
The federal government links money to the states with "but you have to..." conditions. We deserve at least as much when we come to the aid of a foreign nation that is not even a colony of the US.
“The federal government links money to the states with “but you have to...” conditions. We deserve at least as much when we come to the aid of a foreign nation that is not even a colony of the US.”
Excellent point. In a real world environment, yours is the correct decision.
I just don’t see it happening because if we dictate how our aid money is to be spent, we will get tagged with the “neo-colonialist” label.
And the poor sensitive dears just wouldn’t be able to live with themselves if that happened.
In addition to the Richter scale measuring the power of the quake, some sort of scale on the crappiness of your infrastructure must also be taken into consideration when estimating quake damage.
Chili apparently fared well, as California generally does in the last 100 years. Haiti and Iran, not so good.
I see nothing WRONG with neo-colonialism.
Slavery is a thing of the past. Why is there the resentment among the academics that the US take a leadership role in this world?
We are just supposed to have US taxpayers write the checks that are then pilfered by third world socialist despots.
That looks like a hockey stick.
“It’s a logrithmic scale.”
Right, and so using a logarithmic scale 8.8 - 7.1 = 1.7, and 10**1.7 is 50.12. I think someone slipped a decimal, and I keep seeing “hundreds” of times more powerful all over the media.
Amazing how math-illiterate most folks are.
I don't believe it is. My guess is that the 500 times refers to the 9.5 (biggest ever earthquake located in Chile) and the Haiti quake at 7.0. The current Chile quake 8.8 would be 80 times the Haiti quake of 7.0. If we call the Haiti Quake 7.1, then the numbers are 400 times bigger and 70 times bigger.
80 time more powerful? Wow! That is very significant.
Hmm, should be 50 times (10^(8.8-7.1)=10^(1.7)=50.11). You’re right, something not adding up...
Ooops, rounded wrong — someone above has the right number, 50.12 (actually 50.1187...)