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Illapel (Spanish pronunciation: [i.ʝa.ˈpel]) is a Chilean city, which is the capital of the Choapa Province, Coquimbo Region. It lies along the Illapel River and marks the country's narrowest point along a parallel (94 km). It is located to the east of Los Vilos.

Coat of arms
Coat of arms
Location of Illapel commune in the Coquimbo Region
Location of Illapel commune in the Coquimbo Region
Location in Chile
Location in Chile
Location in Chile
Coordinates: 31°38′S 71°10′W / 31.633°S 71.167°W / -31.633; -71.167Coordinates: 31°38′S 71°10′W / 31.633°S 71.167°W / -31.633; -71.167
Country Chile
Region Coquimbo
 • TypeMunicipality
 • AlcaldeDenis Cortés Vargas (IND/JPM)
 • Total2,629.1 km2 (1,015.1 sq mi)
388 m (1,273 ft)
 (2012 Census)[2]
 • Total30,074
 • Density11/km2 (30/sq mi)
 • Urban
 • Rural
 • Men14,940
 • Women15,415
Time zoneUTC−4 (CLT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−3 (CLST)
Area code(s)56 + 53
WebsiteOfficial website (in Spanish)


As a commune, Illapel is a third-level administrative division of Chile administered by a municipal council, headed by a alcalde who is directly elected every four years. The 2008–2012 alcalde is Denis Cortés Vargas (IND/JPM).[1]

Within the electoral divisions of Chile, Illapel is represented in the Chamber of Deputies by Mrs. Adriana Muñoz (PDC) and Mr. Luis Lemus (Ind.) as part of the 9th electoral district, (together with Combarbalá, Punitaqui, Monte Patria, Salamanca, Los Vilos, Canela). The commune is represented in the Senate by Evelyn Matthei Fornet (UDI) and Jorge Pizarro Soto (PDC) as part of the 4th senatorial constituency (Coquimbo Region).


According to the 2002 census of the National Statistics Institute, Illapel spans an area of 2,629.1 km2 (1,015 sq mi) and has 30,355 inhabitants (14,940 men and 15,415 women). Of these, 21,826 (71.9%) lived in urban areas and 8,529 (28.1%) in rural areas. The population grew by 4.6% (1,348 persons) between the 1992 and 2002 censuses.[2]

Earthquake of September 16, 2015Edit

On September 16, 2015, at 22:54:33 UTC (19:54:33 local time), a great earthquake of magnitude 8.3 hit the area, with an epicenter 46 km (29 mi) west of Illapel.[3] The earthquake caused physical damage, the loss of human lives, forced the evacuation of one million people from the coast (some sources mistakenly claimed a million people evacuated from Santiago), and a tsunami warning was issued for parts of South America, Hawaii, California and French Polynesia. Copper prices spiked in early trading, on fears of supply disruption.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Municipality of Illapel" (in Spanish). Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d "National Statistics Institute" (in Spanish). Retrieved 5 November 2010.
  3. ^ Global Earthquake Epicenters. "Map of the earthquake M8.3 – 46km W of Illapel, Chile 2015-09-16 22:54:33 UTC". Retrieved 2015-09-17.
  4. ^ Anthony Esposito. "Powerful quake hits off coast of Chile, some coastal flooding". Reuters. Retrieved 2015-09-17.

External linksEdit