Experts: Strict building codes saved lives in Chile earthquake

Video Capture(CNN) – Strict building codes and the preparedness of millions of Chileans who live along an arc of volcanoes and fault lines likely kept the death toll — only six by Wednesday afternoon — low after an 8.2-magnitude earthquake rumbled offshore and prompted a tsunami, observers said.

Officials said four of those whose deaths were blamed on the quake late Tuesday that triggered landslides, power outages, and a tsunami suffered heart attacks, while two others were crushed.

“They’re a seismically active region of the world and they are very good at implementing their building codes similar to California,” John Bellini, a Denver-based geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey told CNN on Wednesday. Continue reading

Is the BIG one about to hit Chile??

140325-chile-quake-recent_e94e72a1e499298045fcc7426e288b38.nbcnews-fp-1440-600Chile’s northern coast has been hit by more than 300 earthquakes in the past week in what seismologists warned Tuesday could be the precursor to a long-overdue disaster. Most of these quakes have been too small to be felt on land, but people living near the city of Iquique have experienced the rumbling of up to a dozen tremors per day.

Continue reading

Earthquake ‘Autopsy’ Helps Shine Light on Aftershocks

GPS measurements show how the crust shifted after a magnitude-8.8 earthquake in Chile in 2010. Credit: GFZ

GPS measurements show how the crust shifted after a magnitude-8.8 earthquake in Chile in 2010. Credit: GFZ

Originally posted at

An incredibly detailed look at Earth’s twitches and shudders after a magnitude-8.8 earthquake in Chile reveals a potential new trigger for aftershocks, the smaller temblors that follow an earthquake.

The findings, published Dec. 1 in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters, come from a massive research effort to conduct an earthquake “autopsy” in Chile.

The Feb. 27, 2010, Maule earthquake struck offshore, on a subduction zone where the Nazca tectonic plate crashes into and dives under the South American tectonic plate. The two plates slid past each other by up to 50 feet (16 meters) in some spots. Continue reading