Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Earthquake Risks

 Chile is one of the most seismically active countries in the world but when you look at the facts and numbers, it isn't as bad as it first sounds.

To offer some statistics for comparison.....
The 2011 earthquake in Japan was a 9.0 and resulted in 15,000 deaths.
The horrific earthquake of 2010 in Haiti was a 7.0 and resulted in 100,000 deaths.
A little closer to your home, in 1994, the Northridge, CA earthquake was a 6.7 and 60 died with over $20 billion in damages.
One of the deadliest earthquakes in history was in China in 1976, a 7.8 quake, with an estimated 800,000 deaths.

But the strongest earthquake in recorded history was the 9.5 quake in Valdivia, Chile (just up the road from our farm) back in 1960.The death toll was 2,000.
The 2015 Chilean 8.4  earthquake - 13 dead
The 2014  8.2 quake in Chile - 7 dead
the 2010  8.8 Chilean quake - 525 dead
So all the earthquakes in Chile in the past 60 years including the Valdivian quake, the largest in recorded history, and the death toll is less than 5,000.

Why is the death rate so low in Chile? I can venture a few ideas. Less densely populated, good building codes, less high rise buildings. And Chile is well prepared in the aftermath of a disaster to aid the victims and rebuild. Chile made a remarkable recovery from the 2010 quake. Read this interesting article on how Chile did this

And remember how Haiti responded to its 2010 quake which was 500 times less powerful.They were helpless and paralyzed and counted on lots of foreign aid. Chile did not.

And as far as volcanoes go, there are no death statistics available for any Chilean eruptions so I don't think it's a major threat.
30,000 people die each year in highway fatalities in the USA. I know it's not a totally equal comparison but it's probably more likely to die in an auto accident in the USA than an earthquake or eruption in Chile. So buckle up and stay safe!


  1. You All were my first thoughts when I heard that. So glad y'all are safe and sound.

    Happy trails Bill in Deansboro NY

  2. Glad to hear you all are doing well!! Couldn't find your blog until someone posted it on facebook. Give Lori a hug!! Stay safe! Maggie Hoverath

  3. Thanks, Maggie
    Hope you are well!
    Just follow me by email or google+ and you won't lose me again!

  4. Glad to hear you are ok--Benson Mattison sent me the link~ Andrew told me you were no affected. Phew!
    XX Kristie

  5. Now I see why my comments are disappearing! I am not the techno-saavy one over here~!

  6. Thanks,Kristie!
    It seemed to be a non event here as there was little damage even though 11 died.
    I heard more died, 34, from fiestas patrias events (independence day) than from the earthquake.