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Posts Tagged ‘Chile Earthquake Update 2’

Chile Earthquake Update 2 (Mar 1)

Posted by feww on March 1, 2010

“No Danger of a Tsunami,” Chileans Were Told!

Death toll from Chile megaquake and tsunami surges over 720

“It’s an enormous catastrophe … there’s a growing number of missing people,” Chilean President Bachelet said, as her government dispatched 10,000 troops to enforce curfews in the worst hit areas, especially Chile’s second largest city Concepcion, and prevent alleged outbreaks of looting.

The surviving victims are desperate for food and water, making the government’s “iron-fist” response highly questionable.

The massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake that struck about 115km north-northeast of Concepcion on Saturday, has left many people homeless, and many more have stayed outdoors in tents or makeshift shelters fearing the deadly aftershocks that are powerful earthquakes to be reckoned with.

The megaquake has destroyed or damaged probably as many as half a million homes, wrecked bridges, highways and other infrastructure. There’s  widespread power cuts throughout most of the country.

Criminal Negligence by the Chilean Authorities

Once again fatal errors made by an incompetent military proved fatal for many ordinary Chileans. Many lives could have been saved if the he government experts had sought independent advice concerning the certainty of a tsunami.

It has now been revealed the Chilean government declared immediately after the megaquake struck offshore Maule, “there would be no danger of a tsunami.”  Their fatal error, which they now blame on “incorrect data” supplied by their “Navy experts” probably doubled the death toll as it now stands.

It’s difficult to believe that the average earthquake “expert” would consider an 8.8Mw earthquake striking offshore, especially in an area with previous records of deadly quakes and fatal tsunamis as “no danger.”

Surely, even a university freshman with some understanding of geophysics, earthquakes and tsunamis, and knowledge of earthquake history in the area, facing a magnitude 8.8 quake, could have put two and two together,  at least erring on the side of caution.

The authorities in Japan, a country almost halfway across the world from Chile, took the precautionary measure of evacuating more than a million of their citizens from coastal areas to protect them against potential tsunamis caused by the Dichato quake.

How could the Chilean authorities make such an incomprehensible mistake with such catastrophic consequences?

Aftershocks Update

10-degree Map Centered at 35°S,70°W

Latest EQ Location map. Source: USGS/EHP. Enhanced by FEWW

Since FEWW Chilean Disasters Update # 1 posted yesterday, at least 40 additional aftershock have struck central Chile, with two events measuring M6.0 or greater. The aftershocks should continue to occur for sometime.

Image of the Day


Cars and Dogs seeking safety on higher grounds in case “Navy experts” had made a mistake about the tsunami. [Original caption: Debris is washed up by waves generated by a major earthquake near the epicenter in Dichato February 28, 2010. Credit: REUTERS/Jose Luis Saavedra. Image may be subject to copyright.
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FEWW Estimate of the Quake Damage

Based on the preliminary information available, Fire-Earth Moderators estimate the cost of damage from Saturday’s megaquake at about US$10 billion.

The Moderators believe the Chileans should consider the earthquake and subsequent tsunami disasters as an opportunity and re-build their communities as eco-centered, low-carbon, intelligent communities.

Any more mistakes made by the authorities in the way they handle the quake and tsunami aftermaths could prove even more catastrophic in the near future.

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