Chile is one of the countries with the most seismic and volcanic activity in the world (Infobae)
A 3.7-magnitude earthquake with a depth of 24.0 kilometers took the residents of the Chilean city of Pichilemu by surprise.
The movement had as its epicenter the coordinates -73.273 degrees of longitude and -33.884 degrees of latitude, that is, 129.0 kilometers west of said town, according to the National Seismological Center (CSN).
The updated information from the CNS indicates that the tremor began at 08:16 a.m. (local time) on Thursday, February 23.
Remember that in the face of any earthquake, follow information only from official sources, avoid falling for rumors or false news.
After an earthquake, check your house in search of possible effects, use your cell phone only in an emergency, do not saturate the telephone lines, do not light matches or candles until you are sure that there is no gas leak. It is important to mention that after a major telluric movement, aftershocks can occur, so it is important to be alert.
An earthquake can happen at any moment, so it is important to be prepared with the following measures: prepare a civil protection plan, organize evacuation drills, find safety zones at home, school or workplace and prepare a backpack emergency.
During an earthquake, stay calm and find a safe place, stay away from objects that could fall, do not use the elevators, do not stay in the stairwell, or in the doorway.
Chile is one of the countries with the most seismic activity in the world, this is due to its geographical and geotectonic location, since it is within one of the areas with the greatest release of energy, in the permanent convergence of the “Nazca Plate” and the “South American Plate”, in the so-called subdiction zone.
In addition, the country is located in the area known as the Pacific Ring or Ring of Fire, considered the region with the largest number of volcanoes and tremors on the planet.
This area gathers 75% of the volcanoes that exist in the world and includes more than 450 volcanic structures, in addition, it is where 90% of the seismic activity occurs worldwide and 81% of the strongest tremors on the planet.
The Pacific Ring of Fire, the region with the most seismic and volcanic activity in the world (File)
The Pacific Ring of Fire covers the entire Pacific coast, starting in Chile, passing through Central America, Mexico, the United States, touring the Aleutian Islands, then down the coasts of Russia, Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines, until it reaches New Zealand.
Some volcanoes that are located in the Pacific Ring of Fire and that have generated relevant eruptions with great damage on a global scale are: Krakatoa in Indonesia, Mount Fuji in Japan, Mount Santa Elena in the United States, El Chichón in Mexico and the Nevado del Ruiz in Colombia, among others.
Since 1570, around a hundred strong earthquakes have been recorded in Chile, of which almost thirty were of magnitude greater than 8.
According to the Department of Emergency and Disaster Risk Management, on average, an earthquake of magnitude above 8 occurs every decade. These are some of the most important earthquakes recorded in the history of Chile.
The strongest earthquake in history
On the afternoon of May 22, 1960, the strongest earthquake on record occurred, with a magnitude of 9.5. Its epicenter was the city of Traiguén, in the province of Malleco. However, it is known as the “Valdivia earthquake” because it was where the most damage occurred.
The seismic activity also caused a tsunami with waves up to 10 meters high that devastated a large part of the south of the country. The tsunami suffered beyond Chile, reaching Asia, in Japan, for example, it was hit by waves six meters high, leaving several deaths and significant damage in its wake.
Chile has the strongest earthquake on record (File)
The last great earthquake
The last major tremor to hit Chile was the one known as “27F” that occurred on February 27, 2010, the second strongest earthquake in its history.
With a magnitude of 8.8, the telluric movement had as its epicenter the coasts of the Maule region and surprised the population during the early hours of the morning.
As in 1960, about half an hour after the earthquake, a tsunami hit the country, mainly in the Maule and Biobío regions. Outside of Chile, the tsunami reached Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Costa Rica, without major damage.
The most recent strong earthquake in Chile occurred in 2010 (Photographic and Digital Archive of the National Library of Chile)
On the night of January 24, 1939, the deadliest earthquake in the history of Chile occurred. An 8.3 magnitude earthquake shook from Valparaíso to Temuco, however, it was in Concepción and Chillán where the most damage was concentrated.
This seismic activity was known as the Chillán earthquake because it was right there where it caused the most destruction, just to say that more than half of its buildings fell.
The deadliest earthquake in Chile (Photographic and Digital Archive of the National Library of Chile).
The 1939 Chillán earthquake is the earthquake that has claimed the most fatalities in Chile. The official death toll was 24,000, but some estimate that it was close to 30,000, although only 5,685 were identified.
In addition to the aforementioned earthquakes, there have been other important ones in the history of Chile.
For example, two other telluric movements with a magnitude greater than 8.5 have been recorded, however, these have occurred more than 100 years ago -not counting the tremors already mentioned-, according to CSN records.
In the early morning of July 8, 1730, an 8.7-magnitude earthquake was felt in Valparaíso, which left around 3,000 dead. Another earthquake, this time of 8.8 magnitude, was felt in Arica on the night of September 16, 1615, which surprisingly left no victims.
On the other hand, there are two more earthquakes that left a balance of more than 2,000 deaths: on the night of May 9, 1877, in Iquique, an 8.5 magnitude earthquake was recorded; and the one on the morning of February 8, 1570, which had a magnitude of 8.3.