Chile suffers largest earthquake this year


Photo by: Aldo Solimano, AFP/GETTY

Fishing boats were destroyed in Iquique, Chile, when a powerful 8.2-magnitude earthquake hit off the country’s Pacific coast. The rural surroundings of the quake’s epicenter in Coquimbo, Chile has kept the quake’s damage at a lower tier than that of 2010.

An 8.3 magnitude earthquake struck Chile on the night of Sep. 16, 2015.

Initially measured incorrectly at a magnitude of  7.8, the quake was later recalculated and confirmed to be the strongest of this year, surpassing the Nepal earthquake that took place in April.

The epicenter of the quake was confirmed to be off of Chile’s northern coast, 29 miles away from the town of Illapel and 15.5 miles beneath the ocean’s surface. The quake resulted in 16-foot waves on the Chilean coast, forcing approximately a million residents to evacuate for higher land, and caused 13-inch waves as far as Ventura Harbor.

Eleven individuals have been confirmed dead, and over 170 homes were destroyed by the quake and its aftereffects.

In addition to the property damages and evacuations, the quake left 135,000 families without power and caused minor damages to buildings as far as Buenos Aires, Argentina, over 1,000 miles away.

Cam High clubs are working to help Chile rebuild from the devastation. One such club, Save the Children, is planning to raise money specifically for the children affected in Chile.

“We’re planning a coin drive to help people in Chile rebuild their lives,” said junior Gabe Garcia, vice president of the club. “We stand for doing whatever we can to help those in need, whether that’s [providing] food, water, education, or peoples’ basic needs.”

Numerous aftershocks continued to plague the country for hours after, some reaching magnitudes of 7, as reported by CNN, and could last weeks or even months.

Due to Chile’s extensive history with earthquakes, such as the 2010 8.8 quake, the country had the necessary preparations and expertise to mitigate the effects of major earthquakes. The rapid issuance of evacuation warnings by the Chilean government coupled with the citizen’s earthquake training avoided the full damage that the quake could have potentially caused.

“The response to this earthquake has been very efficient,”  said Chilean president Michelle Bachelet in a public announcement. “We took the right measures.”