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Chile Well Prepared for Quakes

Saturday, 27 Feb 2010 09:05 AM

It is not possible to predict the time and magnitude of an earthquake, but certain places on the Earth know they are always at risk from big tremors. Chile is one of those places.

It lies on the "Ring of Fire", the line of frequent quakes and volcanic eruptions that circles virtually the entire Pacific rim.

The magnitude 8.8 event that struck the country Saturday occurred at the boundary between the Nazca and South American tectonic plates, just off shore and at a depth of about about 20 miles.

The biggest city close by is Concepcion, just over 60 miles to the south.

Collapsed buildings and widespread disruption will have been unavoidable.

Because the quake occurred below the sea floor, tsunamis were also generated, and alerts were issued not just for the Chilean coast but across the Pacific in general.

The Nazca and South American tectonic plates are vast slabs of the Earth's surface and grind past each other at a rate of about 80mm per year.

The Nazca plate, which makes up the Pacific Ocean floor in this region, is being pulled down and under the South American coast.

It makes the region one of the most seismically active on the globe.

Since 1973, there have been 13 events of magnitude 7.0 or greater.

Read the rest of the report on BBC News -- Click Here

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It is not possible to predict the time and magnitude of an earthquake, but certain places on the Earth know they are always at risk from big tremors. Chile is one of those places.
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2010-05-27
 
 

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