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The 2015 Illapel earthquake occurred 46 km (29 mi) offshore from Illapel, Chile on September 16 at 19:54:33 Chile Standard Time (22:54:33 UTC), with a moment magnitude of 8.3.[1][6] The initial quake lasted three to five minutes;[7] it was followed by several aftershocks greater than magnitude six and two that exceeded 7.0 moment magnitude.[8] The Chilean government reported 15 deaths, 6 missing and thousands of people affected. In Buenos Aires, Argentina, a man died from a stroke while he was evacuating a building.[4][5][9]

2015 Chile earthquake
Shakemap us20003k7a.jpg
USGS ShakeMap of the earthquake
UTC time 2015-09-16 22:54:32
ISC event 611531714
USGS-ANSS ComCat
Local date September 16, 2015 (2015-09-16)
Local time 19:54 CST (UTC-3)
Magnitude 8.3 Mw[1]
Depth 22.4 km (USGS)[1]
Epicenter 31°34′12″S 71°39′14″W / 31.570°S 71.654°W / -31.570; -71.654 (earthquake)Coordinates: 31°34′12″S 71°39′14″W / 31.570°S 71.654°W / -31.570; -71.654 (earthquake)
Areas affected Chile
Argentina[2]
Max. intensity IX (Violent shaking)
Tsunami Yes
Aftershocks 31 of 6.0 Mw or higher, over 5,000 in total (as of June 2017)
Casualties

15 fatalities and 6 missing in Chile[3]

1 fatality and minor injuries in Argentina[4][5]

Contents

EarthquakeEdit

 
The process of subduction of the Nazca plate under the South American plate.

The earthquake occurred on thrust faults along the boundary of the Nazca and South American plates. The region frequently produces large earthquakes, and 15 others of magnitude 7 or higher have taken place within 400 km of the epicenter over the past 100 years.[1] The last big quake that occurred in this region was the 1943 Ovalle earthquake, reaching a magnitude of 8.3; however, comparisons of source time functions show that the 2015 event was much larger than the 1943 earthquake, in terms of duration and tsunami size.

This earthquake had a very unusual, immediate foreshock, just 20 seconds before the main 8.3 earthquake, reaching a magnitude of 7.2. This has been considered as one of the most complex earthquakes to be ever studied in Chile.

Damage and rangeEdit

Illapel, an inland city of some 30,000 residents, was reported immediately to be without electricity or drinking water.[10] Many towns and small cities in the Coquimbo region saw a lot of damage, where the earthquake was felt with an intensity of VIII Mercalli. The panic took over the great cities like La Serena , Valparaiso and the capital Santiago. Two days after the quake, about 90,000 people were still without electricity.[11] On September 21, officials were reporting over 9,000 people had been left homeless by the quake.[12]

Tall buildings swayed and car alarms were set off in Buenos Aires, 1,110 kilometres (690 mi) away,[4][13] and the earthquake was felt in São Paulo,[14] more than 2,600 kilometres (1,600 mi) away.[15] The Argentine provinces of Mendoza, San Juan, Córdoba, Tucumán, La Rioja, San Luis and Santa Fe were also affected.[16]

TsunamiEdit

Tsunami watches, warnings, and advisories were issued in Ecuador, Peru, New Zealand, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Hawaii, California and Japan.[17] The first tsunami waves arrived on the Chilean coast within minutes.[18] A series of waves reaching at least 4.5 m (15 ft) high were observed along the coast of Coquimbo and the cities of Coquimbo, Tongoy and Concón nearby to Valparaiso reported flooding;[4] large fishing vessels were swept into the streets of Coquimbo, which reported heavy damage. The port of Coquimbo, along with the Costanera, was heavily damaged.[19] The tsunami also damaged the iconic La Serena monumental lighthouse.

In the coastal city of Tongoy, large areas along the sea front were destroyed, along with the Tongoy beach itself, which was heavily affected by both earthquake and tsunami. Across the region at least 500 buildings were destroyed,[11] while dozens of beachfront homes in Los Vilos were damaged or destroyed.[19] A state of emergency was declared in Coquimbo a day after the tsunami, with troops to be deployed to the area.[11]

EvacuationsEdit

Chilean authorities ordered the immediate evacuation of the coast due to tsunami risk,[14] with many people in coastal areas receiving automatic notices by cellphone shortly after the quake.[7] The undersecretary for the ministry of the interior and public security reported that the evacuation affected one million people across the country.[4]

Although causing damage in the hundreds of millions, the Illapel earthquake's low death toll relative to the 525 casualties of the significantly more powerful 2010 Chile earthquake was credited, in part, to its localization in a less-populated region, better coastal preparedness and an improved tsunami warning system, the longstanding enforcement of seismic building codes, and an improved emergency response.[20]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d "M 8.3 - 48km W of Illapel, Chile". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  2. ^ Akkoc, Raziye; Alexander, Harriet (September 17, 2015). "Tsunami warnings from California to New Zealand after 8.3 quake hits Chile". The Telegraph.
  3. ^ "Chile quake death toll hits 13". Sky News Australia. September 19, 2015. Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e Safi, Michael (September 17, 2015). "Chile earthquake: massive 8.3 magnitude tremor strikes Santiago". The Guardian. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Gobierno confirma que cifra de fallecidos por terremoto aumenta a 10" [Government confirms that the number of deceased people by the earthquake increases to 10] (in Spanish). Ahora Noticias. September 17, 2015. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  6. ^ "Strong quake shakes Chile capital, causing buildings to sway", Associated Press, September 16, 2015. Accessed September 16, 2015
  7. ^ a b Henao, Luis Andres; Vergara, Eva (September 17, 2015). "Chile confronts major quake with fortified buildings, alerts". Associated Press. Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Onemi: aumentan a 13 los muertos y a seis los desaparecidos" (in Spanish). La Tercera. September 18, 2015. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  10. ^ "Tsunami warning after powerful earthquake hits Chile". Collie Mail. September 17, 2015. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  11. ^ a b c "Chile quake: State of emergency declared for Coquimbo". BBC News Online. September 17, 2015. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
  12. ^ "Thousands left homeless by Chile quake". SkyNews. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  13. ^ "Strong Chile earthquake sets off tsunami waves – BBC News". Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  14. ^ a b Bonnefoy, Pascale; Romero, Simon (September 16, 2015). "Chile Earthquake Strikes Coast, Forcing Residents to Evacuate". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  15. ^ "Illapel to São Paulo: 2620 km". Wolfram Alpha. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  16. ^ Gabriela Origlia and Pablo Mannino (September 16, 2015). "El sismo se sintió con fuerza en distintas provincias: los vecinos se autoevacuaron" [The earthquake was strongly felt in several provinces: the neighbors self-evacuated] (in Spanish). La Nación. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  17. ^ "〔チリ中部沖M8.3〕津波注意報発表中 太平洋沿岸で最大0.8mの津波観測(18日13時30分現在)(レスキューナウニュース) - Yahoo!ニュース". Archived from the original on September 21, 2015. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
  18. ^ Holthaus, Eric (September 17, 2015). "Small Tsunami Reaches Hawaii and California, Widespread Damage Reported in Chile". Slate. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
  19. ^ a b Iturrieta, Felipe (September 17, 2015). "Chileans pick through debris after powerful quake; 10 dead". Reuters. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  20. ^ Bonnefoy, Pascale; Lyons, Patrick J. (September 17, 2015). "Why Chile's Latest Big Earthquake Has a Smaller Death Toll". The New York Times. Retrieved September 18, 2015.

External linksEdit