Massive Earthquake in Chile

  morddwyd 07:36 27 Feb 10

8.3 on the scale and tsunami warnings issued.

click here

Doesn't sound too good.

Let's hope the reports are pessimistic.

  Forum Editor 08:20 27 Feb 10

a big earthquake occurred in the same area (in 1960) over 1500 people were killed, and a tsunami hit the Japanese coast. The 1960 quake was the strongest ever recorded at 9.5, although 8.8 (which is the US geological survey's estimate of this one) is a massive earthquake. It will be a miracle if there are no deaths.

  Forum Editor 15:09 27 Feb 10

which is always a possibility, and it makes the problem worse. The mobile phone networks are down, as are most of the TV and radio stations, so not a great deal of information is forthcoming.

There will undoubtedly be many fatalities, but with luck the numbers will not be as high as might have been the case in some other areas - Chile is accustomed to earthquakes, and lots of buildings in the cities are built accordingly.

  peter99co 15:31 27 Feb 10

click here

A guide to severity.

  Forum Editor 18:56 27 Feb 10

The Richter scale is no longer the scale that seismologists use for reporting earthquakes. Magnitude is a logarithmic measure of earthquake size.

In simple terms, this means that at the same distance from the earthquake, the shaking will be 10 times as large during a magnitude 5 earthquake as during a magnitude 4 earthquake. The total amount of energy released by the earthquake, however, goes up by a factor of 32.

The earthquake that recently occurred in Haiti was 7.2 on the Richter scale, but 7.0 on the Moment Magnitude scale that's used by the US geological survey. Moment magnitude is based on the moment of the earthquake, which is equal to the rigidity of the earth times the average amount of slip on the fault times the amount of fault area that slipped.

I told you it gets confusing. The other confusing thing is comparisons. An earthquake with an 8.8 Moment magnitude isn't just a little more powerful than one with a 7.0 magnitude, it's massively more powerful.

The Haiti earthquake released energy equivalent to the detonation of around 32 million tons of TNT. The one that occurred today in Chile was about 1000 times more powerful.

  Input Overload 08:01 28 Feb 10

I hope the government will put our in comparison piffling problems on one side & give help to these people. We don't realise how lucky we are sometimes in the UK. Events such as this restore perspective.

  Forum Editor 09:40 28 Feb 10

late one dark and peaceful night, I was sitting here, watching a discussion go back and forth in Speakers Corner. Suddenly the earth quite literally moved. It was a minor tremor - quite tiny as tremors go - but it gave me a fright, my desk shook momentarily. Within moments the forum discussion was interrupted by posts asking 'Did you feel that?' and people in the affected area started swapping stories of their experience.

I think of it each time I get a notification from the US geological survey about an earthquake somewhere in the world. Lots of them are pretty big - over 6.0 on the scale - and millions of people live their lives in areas that are affected by quakes. I suppose that to a certain extent you get used to the idea, but it must be terrifying when a big one comes along - no warning, and nowhere to hide.

Give me little old UK with its rare tiny tremors any day.

  Input Overload 11:55 28 Feb 10

We still don't know the death toll yet.

  Input Overload 14:43 28 Feb 10

fourm member, yes I agree.

  peter99co 14:56 28 Feb 10

A scroll down to the lower part of my link shows your point very well. It compares TNT values and shows the Multiplication factor very well.

  OTT_B 00:19 01 Mar 10

I can't help but think that the number of dead from this earthquake is going to reach a truly shocking number. There's still a distinct lack of information coming out of the most directly affected areas and that can't be good news.

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