Monday, March 01, 2010

Earthquake in Chile

A massive earthquake, magnitude 8.8 on the Richter scale, hit Chile on Saturday morning. (LINK to USGS summary).

View Chile earthquake in a larger map

As of this writing, Chile has not requested international aid. Unlike Haiti, Chile is more developed, and has more infrastructure to be able to deal with this event, which nonetheless has been described by the Chilean government as a "catastrophe".

Despite initial, obviously satirical reports, Pat Robertson has not made any statement as to the cause of the Chilean earthquake, now known to be the 8th most intense earthquake in recorded history.

UPDATE - I have heard radio commentary that describes the Chilean earthquake as the fifth, and not the eighth largest ever recorded. More than 500 times the energy of the Haitian earthquake was released. Some deaths occurred due to a tsunami generated by the initial event. Chile contains important sites for astronomical research (where SN1987A was discovered, for instance) including the Las Campanas site where the University of Toronto and other institutions maintain facilities. It is not know what effect, if any, the earthquake has had on telescopes and related hardware.

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