GEOLOGICAL EVENT THAT CHANGED LIVES

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2ND, 2020.-


🖊 WEATHER HISTORY 📸 THE SANTIAGO TIMES

1960 VALDIVIA EARTHQUAKE


In 1935 an American seismologist by the name of Charles Richter devised the famous Richter magnitude scale. By measuring seismographic readings, and then cross referencing them with the distance from the seismographic disturbance, it became possible to measure the magnitude of an earthquake.

The Richter scale increases exponentially, so a magnitude 7.0 isn’t just slightly bigger than a 6.0 magnitude earthquake, it’s ten times bigger. And a magnitude 8.0 is again ten times more powerful than a 7.0.

By far the biggest earthquake ever measured, and by quite some distance, was the 1960 Valdivia earthquake off the coast of Chile.

This megaquake was measured at an enormous 9.5 on the magnitude scale, releasing roughly the same energy as 100 million tons of TNT. It literally shook the entire world, with the shock waves traveling down as far as the Earth’s molten core.

It triggered tsunamis that traveled more than 10,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean, killing hundreds of people as far away as Japan, Hawaii, and Australia.

Chile was closest to the epicenter and suffered the worst of the devastation. Fortunately, however, the areas worst afflicted were sparsely populated. More than 5,000 people lost their lives, and two million more were made homeless, but given the ferocity of the earthquake this could easily have been a great deal worse.

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