Saturday, February 27, 2010

Quake in Chile, Tsunamis Around the Pacific

Updated 11:26 a.m. (February 27, 2010)

"Pacific nations gear for tsunami after Chile quake"

(National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration, via AFP, via BBC, used w/o permission)

"Nations around the Pacific Ocean are on full alert for a possible tsunami following the devastating earthquake that hit Chile on Saturday morning.

"Tsunami warnings have been sounded in an area affecting about a quarter of the globe.

"Waves will spread from the epicentre of the 8.8 quake in central Chile and may strike land bordering the Pacific in the next 24 hours.

"People in the Galapagos and on Easter Island have already taken refuge.

"Large waves are already reported to have struck Chile's Juan Fernandez island group, reaching halfway into one inhabited area. Three people there are missing, local media say. Two aid ships are reported to be on their way...."

There's a link list of charities, with some additional contact information, at the end of this post.
"UPDATE 11-Massive earthquake strikes Chile, 122 dead"
Reuters (February 27, 2010)

"A huge magnitude-8.8 earthquake struck Chile early on Saturday, killing at least 122 people, knocking down homes and hospitals, and triggering a tsunami that rolled menacingly across the Pacific.
Quake in Chile, Tsunamis Around the Pacific
"TV Chile reported that a 15-storey building collapsed in the hardest-hit city of Concepcion, where buildings caught fire, major highway bridges collapsed and cracks opened up in the streets. Cars turned upside down lay scattered across one damaged bridge.

"Residents huddled in streets full of rubble of masonry and glass from destroyed homes. Many were terrified by powerful aftershocks and desperately trying to call friends and family.

"Chilean President-elect Sebastian Pinera said 122 people had been killed and the death toll could climb higher...."

By comparison, Haiti's January 12, 2010, quake was 7.0 magnitude.

As often happens in large-scale disasters like this, it's hard to get a 'big picture' idea of just how much damage has been done. Communications systems are down, so it may be quite a while before the folks in Chile know what they're dealing with

Meanwhile, it looks like the Hawaiian Islands will experience a tsunami in roughly three and a half hours.

"Sirens Sound on Hawaiian Coasts"
The New York Times (February 27, 2010)

"Evacuation alarms sounded in Hawaii’s vulnerable coastal areas at 6 a.m. local time Saturday, (11 a.m. Eastern) as the region prepared for what federal officials say could be a dangerous — but most likely not catastrophic — tsunami to hit the islands in the aftermath of the earthquake in Chile.

"The tsunami was expected to arrive in Hawaii at 11:20 a.m., or 4:20 p.m. Eastern time.

"Brian R. Shiro, geophysicist at NOAA Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Ewa Beach, Hawaii, said that computer models show that the impact will be greatest in such spots as Hilo Bay on Hawaii Island and Kahului Harbor in Maui.

"In those areas, the tsunami waves could reach as high as six to 10 feet, Mr. Shiro said. Elsewhere in Hawaii, the waves will likely be only about two to three feet.

"Officials warned that all coastal areas in Hawaii could be affected because the wave can reach around the islands as it passes the region...."

Here We Go Again

Even Australia may get noticeable waves from this quake, I've heard.

I doubt that Australian towns and cities will have a problem dealing with the waves, by the time they get there. (Famous last words?) The same goes for Hawaii, and many other places on and in the Pacific.

On the other hand, some folks will need assistance - or at least could use it. After the Haiti quake, I put together a list of charities: with a little editing, I think it'll do for the current situation.

You don't have do do anything, of course: and maybe you can't. No pressure. On the other hand, if you do think that contributing something is a good idea, and can do so, here's an edited copy of that list:

List of Charities

No guarantees made, or implied: but I think these are a pretty good place to start:

2 comments: said...

How scary and frightening! The quake happened at a time when most people were sleeping. I hope the United States and other foreign countries send aid to the people of Chile as soon as possible. They will need it. I further hope that no tsunamis strike any other country as a result of this quake. That would be even more devastating.

Brian, aka Nanoc, aka Norski said...,


It'll be some time before we have a more complete picture of what's happened.

And, although it would be nice if national governments send help - as I'm sure many will - it's quite possible for individuals to help. Which is why I compiled that list of charitable organizations.

(My household has already contributed to a diocesan collection for Haiti, but we'll be giving again when there's opportunity.)

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