Chile Aftershock Measuring 7.6 Scares People Back Outside

Image: Chile Aftershock Measuring 7.6 Scares People Back Outside

Thursday, 03 Apr 2014 12:53 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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A strong 7.6-magnitude aftershock rocked Chile's north coast late Wednesday, where an 8.2-magnitude tremor happened a day earlier and killed six people, scaring many people back outside and away from buildings.

The aftershock's epicenter was 12 miles south of Iquique at a depth of 25 miles, reported the U.S Geological Survey. The survey first reported the aftershock at 7.8, but revised it later to 7.6. The aftershocks continued Thursday, registering from 5.6 to 4.2.

The aftershock shook buildings, causing people to run out into the streets in Iquique, reported The Associated Press.

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CNN reported that Tuesday's earthquake triggered landslides, power outages, and a tsunami.

Chilean president Michelle Bachelet toured the affected areas Wednesday and recognized local crews for responding in an "exemplary manner" to a powerful earthquake, reported CNN.

"This is a great example to all of us that when we work together in an adequate manner and when we follow the plans that have been established in the region, we work well," Bachelet said.

Ramon Galleguillos, the mayor of Alto Hospicio, told reporters that more than 2,500 homes suffered heavy damage in city of Iquique. He told reporters that the homes and buildings were made with poor workmanship through government subsidies.

Chile conducted a mandatory evacuation in Iquique and Arica, spread through cellphone text messages and Twitter, along with loud sirens. The evacuation stayed in place for 10 hours, reported CNN.

Experts told CNN that over the years Chile had been beefing up its building codes and evacuation plans.

"People are more familiar with them," said John Bellini with the U.S. Geological Survey. "They, in general, know what to do as part of their daily lives, plus the building codes are fairly well-enforced in Chile. It's in their culture."

About 500 people died in an 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chile in February 2010. About a month earlier, Port-au-Prince in Haiti lost 70 percent of its homes and 230,000 died in a 7.0-magnitude earthquake.

"That's actually a perfect example of the differences in building codes and enforcement in two different regions," Bellini told CNN. "Building codes play a large part in the damage and destruction that is seen, as well as the casualty level."

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