Chilean Earthquake

Very strong dangerous earthquake in Chile – 1 person killed by a heart attack

Last update: March 26, 2012 at 1:33 pm by By 

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : 7.2 (USGS) – 6.8 Richter (Universidad de Chile)
UTC Time : Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 22:37:04 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 06:37:04 PM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 30 km
Geo-location(s) :
27 km (16 miles) NNW of Talca, Maule, Chile
55 km (34 miles) WSW of 
Curico, Maule, Chile
219 km (136 miles) SSW of SANTIAGO, Region Metropolitana, Chile  

Update 13:13 UTC : Miguel Ortiz, the person in charge for early alerts, made the following statement at 09:05 local time :
– An estimated 24,283 people have followed the local ONEMI advise for precautionary evacuation(between the regions of Valparaíso and Bío Bio). Of these, 14,320 people belong to the Bío Bío Region, 9360 to the Maule Region and the rest in the O’Higgins / Valparaiso Region.
– In Maule, power was lost, but has been restored now (8,000 families affected).
– 18 aftershocks have been recorded so far, luckily only 4 of them felt by the population.
– ONEMI sites worked well and were reachable at all times

Update 13:00 UTC :  An earthquake during a football match. Why not simply continue the game ! The commentators are mentioning it, the camera start to wobble and even the stadium speaker announces the earthquake, but …. the game continues.  The game was played in Santiago de Chile against … Palestino. The Palestinians must have thought that the war was following them (just kidding as Palestino is a Chilean football club). Palestino won with 1-0.

Update 07:38 UTC : So far, Universidad de Chile has listed 15 aftershocks ranging from M3.1 to M 4.8

Recalculated shaking map, based on a Magnitude of 7.1 and a depth of 34.8 km – image courtesy USGS

Important Update 07:38 UTC : Somevery interesting analysis on phone traffic has been given by Subtel, the chile telecommunications authority.
– only 15 to 20% of people were able to call other people during the first hours after the earthquake
– SMS (text messages) was a lot better, but due to the overheated networks, not everyone could be served neither.
– The reason : VOICE CALLS are blocking telecommunications because they are consuming far too much bandwidth vs Text messages. 1 voice call of 180 seconds uses the same bandwidth than 100 SMS’s (text messages). sees this over and over again in almost every major earthquake worldwide.
The simple solution : Make legislation to oblige mobile telecommunication operators to automatically shut down voice calls (except for emergency services and people who have exceptional reasons to use it), send an SMS (text message) to all clients that explains what is done and for what reason and let them know that only SMS (text) can be used until further message. Most telecommunication software is equipped with cell broadcast.

Update 07:20 UTC : The Chilean government has canceled the preventive evacuation at 23:46 local time.

Update 07:00 UTC : During the early hours after the mainshock, seismological agencies have changed the epicenter a couple of times. USGS did locate the epicenter at first in the Pacific Ocean, approx. 25 km out of the coast. After a recalculation, the epicenter was located below land at 27 km from Talca. EMSC has reported an epicenter also to the NW of Talca. GEOFON puts the epicenter also below land and closer to Constitucion than to Talca, a difference of tens of km.
Universidad de Chile, Santiago, a local trusted seismological agency has reported the the epicenter below the coastal stretch 25 km to the NNE of Constitucion.
Calculation of the epicenter is not easy at all, as can be seen here. Every agency is reporting an error margin both horizontal and vertical. is always searching for an agency who has multiple instruments installed in the earthquake epicentral region.

Update 03:20 UTC : In summary: 1 death (Heart Attack) and 6 injured from this earthquake. Minor damage has occurred in the epicentral region and some power outages were reported. The evacuated people are starting to return to their homes, but as a precautionary measure, the Chile government decision to evacuate was well founded.

Update 03:10 UTC : The copper mines in this part of Chile are operating fine, and there has been no stop to production. Life is returning to normal with the panic subsiding. The memories of the 27th February 2010 earthquake still lingers in the minds of the locals.

Update 03:00 UTC : The heart attack was to a 74 year old by the name of José Roberto Rebolledo. He lived 2km from the epicenter in Parral. Our condolences go out to the family. He is currently the only victim of this earthquake. No major damage has been reported to houses so it is likely this will be the only death associated with this earthquake.

Update 02:50 UTC : Given that the earthquake hypocenter was below the mainland it is unlikely that a tsunami was triggered, but the preventive evacuation has gone smoothly. 7000 to 25000 people were evacuated. No movement in the sea level has been observed and it is likely the order will be lifted in the coming hours.

1 dead and 6 injured is the current toll. Minor damage has been reported from the epicentral region.

Update :  Twitter users are monitoring the Ocean level and are sharing their findings with newspapers. New reports are telling us that there are still a lot of power outages.

Update 01:17 UTC :  Maule regional office decided to evacuate the region for PREVENTIVE purposes. 
Official ONEMI message :
Domingo, Marzo 25, 2012 – 22:26
En un punto de prensa realizado desde las oficinas de ONEMI, el Ministro Secretario General de Gobierno, Andrés Chadwick, indicó que la Dirección Regional de ONEMI El Maule, determinó efectuar una evacuación preventiva en el borde costero de la región debido a la observación de recogimiento del mar en la zona. La autoridad recalcó que se trata de una medida preventiva en resguardo de la seguridad de la población.
Cabe destacar, que los Directores Regionales de ONEMI, tienen la facultad, de acuerdo al protocolo firmado con el SHOA el año pasado, de declarar evacuación preventiva en el borde costero al registrarse un sismo igual o superior a VII grados Mercalli, conforme a los antecedentes recopilados tanto a través de observación visual como otros reportes de organismos técnicos.
Update : people are calling to the radio station saying that the sea has not retreated and they will not evacuate.

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