Chile’s 2010 M8.8 Earthquake and Tsunami: Initial Observations on Resilience
Guillermo Franco* and William Siembieda**
*AIR Worldwide, 131 Dartmouth St, Boston, MA 02116, USA
**City & Regional Planning Department, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407-0283, USA
On February 27, 2010, an earthquake of momentmagnitude 8.8 struck the central Pacific coast of Chile, triggering a tsunami and causing severe shaking along nearly 600 km of coastline from Viña del Mar in the north to Concepción and beyond in the south. This disaster tested the country’s government disaster management capacity as well as its built environment. Despite the large amount of energy released in this event and the large area affected, the actual impacts were limited in terms of severity and in terms of geographic dispersion and loss of life. A set of observations on the impact, mitigation, and response that were obtained during a disaster reconnaissance survey organized by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) and extended from March 12-22 are presented. Using the concept of disaster resiliency these observations attempt to tie to past and current efforts within the government and within the local communities to explore the question: how resilient was Chile in the face of this disaster? Suggestions for further research on coastal land use planning, permanent housing replacement schemes, and the roots of civil disorder are made.
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