- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
The 1960 Valdivia earthquake or Great Chilean Earthquake (Spanish: Gran terremoto de Valdivia) of 22 May 1960 is to date the most powerful earthquake ever recorded, rating 9.5 on the moment magnitude scale. It occurred in the afternoon (19:11 GMT, 14:11 local time) and its resulting tsunami affected southern Chile, Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, eastern New Zealand, southeast Australia, and the Aleutian Islands in Alaska.
The epicenter was near Cañete (see map) some 900 km (435 miles) south of Santiago, although Valdivia was the most affected city. It caused localised tsunamis that severely battered the Chilean coast, with waves up to 25 metres (82 ft). The main tsunami raced across the Pacific Ocean and devastated Hilo, Hawaii. Waves as high as 10.7 metres (35 ft) were recorded 10,000 kilometres (6,000 miles) from the epicenter, and as far away as Japan and the Philippines.
The death toll and monetary losses arising from such a widespread disaster can never be precisely known. Various estimates of the total number of fatalities from the earthquake and tsunamis have been published, with the USGS citing studies with figures of 2231, 3000, or 5700 killed, and another source uses an estimate of 6000 dead. Different sources have estimated the monetary cost ranged from 400 million to 800 million US dollars (or 2.9 to 5.8 billion in 2010 dollars, adjusted for inflation.)
The Great Chilean Earthquake came after a smaller earthquake in Arauco Province at 06:02 on 21 May 1960. Telecommunications to southern Chile were cut off and President Jorge Alessandri cancelled the traditional ceremony of the Battle of Iquique memorial holiday to oversee the emergency assistance efforts. The government was just beginning to organize help to the affected region when the second earthquake occurred at 14:55 UTC on 22 May in Valdivia.
The second earthquake affected all of Chile between Talca and Chiloé Island, more than 400,000 square kilometers (154,440.9 sq mi). Coastal villages, such as Toltén, disappeared. Later studies argued that the earthquake actually had 37 epicenters through a 1,350 km (839 mi) north-south line that lasted from 22 May to 6 June. At Corral, the main port of Valdivia, the water level rose 4 m (13 ft) before it began to recede. At 16:20 UTC, an 8 m (26 ft) wave struck the Chilean coast, mainly between Concepción and Chiloe. Ten minutes later another wave measuring 10 m (33 ft) was reported.
Hundreds of people were already reported dead by the time the tsunami struck. One ship, El Canelo, starting at the mouth of Valdivia River sank after being moved 1.5 km (1 mi) backward and forward in the river; its mast is still visible from the road to Niebla.
A number of Spanish-colonial fortifications were completely destroyed. Soil subsidence also destroyed buildings, deepened local rivers, and created wetlands in places like the Río Cruces and Chorocomayo, a new aquatic park north of the city. Extensive areas of the city were flooded. The electricity and water systems of Valdivia were totally destroyed. Witnesses reported underground water flowing up through the soil. Despite the heavy rains of 21 May, the city was without a water supply. The river turned brown with sediment from landslides and was full of floating debris, including entire houses. The lack of potable water became a serious problem in one of Chile's rainiest regions.
The earthquake did not strike all the territory with the same strength; measured with the Mercalli scale tectonically depressed areas suffered heavier damages. The two most affected areas were Valdivia and Puerto Octay near the northwest corner Llanquihue Lake. The overall picture of damages showed that Puerto Octay was the center of a north-south elliptical area in the Central Valley where the intensity was at its highest if not counting the Valdivia Basin. East of Puerto Octay in a hotel in Todos los Santos Lake piles of plates were reported to have remained in place.
Two days after the earthquake Cordón Caulle, a volcanic vent close to Puyehue volcano, erupted.Other volcanoes may also have erupted, but none were recorded due to the lack of communication in Chile at the time. The relatively low death toll in Chile (estimated at 6,000) is explained in part by the low population density and by buildings being built taking into account that the region is very active geologically. Other possible reasons include a high number of wooden houses and that coastal towns also tended to be located on higher ground, following a pre-Hispanic tradition
- CBLv 71 decade ago
Chile 9.5 in 1960
- ?Lv 44 years ago
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- Anonymous1 decade ago
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- BrianLv 41 decade ago
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