Earthquake overview : An Mw6.5 earthquake struck on the coastal strip 42 km from Valparaiso, Chile
“I have Felt it” Reports –> see below + Let us know “how you have felt this earthquake”
To read the full story as it happened, we advise our readers to start at the lower part of the page (earthquake data).
Check also our Chile-only earthquake list
Keep this page open or return regularly as we will be back with more details when they become available
-The director of Onemi Mr. Bejamin Chacana, has made a summary of this morning’s earthquake. He said that the basis for the preventive evacuation was the seismological report that an intensity of VII was expected. Nearly 13,000 people living along the coast have been asked to evacuate to higher ground. A special committee has decided to lift the evacuation a little more than 2 hours later. He also said the telecommunications (fixed and mobile) were congested but work again normal 4 hours later. He confirmed the earlier reported fatalities.
- Earthquake-report.com has unfortunately to report that a second person has lost his life as an indirect result of the earthquake. Luis Órdenes Tapia, 59 years old, was under treatment for a critical cancer.
- A lot of people are questioning ONEMI for a) calling for an evacuation where the local specialists (SHOA) were reporting NO immediate danger and b) the Magnitude setting vs the Magnitude reported by USGS. Chileans are giving the USGS a lot of value while at the same time underestimating their own seismological agencies. We truly understand that the world is looking almost instantly to the USGS for earthquake data (just like we do too), but contrary to most people in the world earthquake-report.com turns immediately to local agencies to find out which numbers they are reporting. This way, we have noticed that ONEMI Chile should NOT be criticized that much because they are doing a really great job with a lot of skilled people. Onemi takes NO risk at all if a serious quake happens in a a direct coastal area. Earthquake-Report.com is very sure that even without Onemi telling to evacuate, people living along the coast would AUTO-EVACUATE immediately after a strong VI or VII MMI shaking.
- Update 08:44 UTC : Preventive evacuation has been lifted 3 hours 48 minutes after the mainshock!
- In the video below captured in the CNN studios from Santiago de Chile, we have timed that the strongest shaking went on for about 8 seconds and that the shaking ended after approx. 35 seconds.
- Power is now been restored to 99% of the grid and only the town of Maitencillo in the Vth district has still some areas without power
- Update 07:57 UTC : 8 aftershocks since the mainshock
- A seismologist from the Universidad de Chile Santiago has declared that today’s earthquake is NOT related with the February 27, 2010 mega-quake.
- 1 indirect death has occurred with the death of a 72 year old man during evacuation in Quintero (probably due to the stress). This earthquake has been labeled CATDAT Orange under the new criteria of indirect deaths.
UPDATE 6.15UTC – Power has been restored in Quintero.
- A slight landslide occurred blocking a road but has now been cleared.
- USGS has increased the magnitude of the quake to Mw6.7 with a depth of 36km. This explains the longer duration and widespread intensity without being extremely damaging.
- 26km (16mi) WNW from Hacienda La Calera, Chile
- 28km (17mi) NW from Quillota, Chile
- 36km (22mi) N from Vina del Mar, Chile
- 36km (22mi) SW from La Ligua, Chile
- Carlos Robles reports (based on local reports) :
* The earthquake caused panic in the capital.
* It was felt from Coquimbo to Bio Bio and lasted some minutes.
* There are electric cuts around the country.
- The long duration of the quake (1 minute reported in Valparaiso by one of our readers) may have reduced the damage due to lower ground motions
- @ Earthquake-Report.com we are very happy that our QuakeSOS application has been used so much during this earthquake. Many people have informed their relatives and friends that they are safe. No alerts for Help so far
- The Video below is from the studios of CNN Chile and shows the kind of shaking the studio had to sustain. Following ONEMI Chile, the shaking we are seeing on this video is labeled approx. MMI VI (strong shaking).
- Earthquake-Report.com reader message from Valparaiso : No previous sound, It started reaaally strong, right from the beginning, some things fell, the sad thing is telephones lines went down… again.
Once again Earthquake-Report.com requests the authorities to act against Telecommunications companies. Solutions to keep using phones are easy and can mostly be implemented rather fast, but the political will does not exist yet to impose these measures. What has to be done : only allow voice for emergency services and force a “Text messages Only” traffic for all other users. Nowadays everything is possible and everything goes down, over and over again anywhere in the world.
- We received also a lot of I Have Felt It reports from the Mendoza, Cordoba aea in Argentina!
- Update 05:23 UTC – ONEMI is still maintaining the “preventive” evacuation order for the coastal areas described below (similar update)
- Chile affected people will not have a quiet night as the many aftershocks will regularly wake them up.
- All local reports are mentioning “NO damage or injuries so far”
- MMI Intensities in Región: Valparaíso – Calera:VII, Casablanca:VII, Hijuelas:VII, La Ligua:VI, Quillota:V, Quilpué :V, San Antonio:V, Santo Domingo: V, Valparaíso:VII, Villa Alemana :VII
- Región: Metropolitana de Santiago – Melipilla:VI, Peñaflor:VI, San José de Maipo:VI, Santiago:VI, Talagante:VI, Tiltil:VII
- As said earlier in the article, the earthquake is NOT strong enough to generate a tsunami. SHOA, the army division specialized in alerting for Tsunami danger, has reported that the conditions to generate a tsunami are NOT present.
- No historic quakes of this magnitude have caused deaths within the epicentral region, so there is a very minor chance of fatalities.
- USGS states (based on theoretical calculations and historic data) that there is very little chance of major damage or fatalities. Earthquake-report.com expects exactly the same.
- Today’s earthquake is triggered by the collision of the Nazca plate (Oceanic plate) with the South American plate (continental plate).
- Mostly the epicenters of Chile earthquakes are below the sea floor at a distance of 20 to 30 km from the coast (fault line)
- We want to stress the Chile people are among the best trained people in the world to cope with earthquakes, at least equal or even better than the Japanese.
- As every earthquake is perceived differently, it is impossible to compare numbers. The current epicentral area has had similar quakes than today which were slightly damaging, others with bigger magnitudes have been without damage or injuries.
- While we are writing this article, we are searching locally for more information on the impact of the earthquake
- Update 04:55 UTC : ONEMI has called the people from Tongoy until Constitucion (provinces of Coquimbo until Maule) to evacuate to higher grounds. They are emphasizing that they are maintaining the evacuation order.
- Since the mainshock the area has been hit by 2 M+4 aftershocks
- The seismology department of the Universidad de Chile, Santiago reports a Magnitude of 6.3 at a depth of 31.2 km.
- Until now, our QuakeSOS iPhone application has only received I AM SAFE messages !
- Based on the intensities reported by USGS the shaking must have been stronger than theoretically calculated by them. Just like the expectations of local ONEMI, reported intensities are mounting to VII (very strong shaking)
- James Daniell, the CATDAT earthquake damage specialist says that : It can be expected that there will be minor damage.
- An ER reader from Vina del Mar (close to the epicenter) talks about : Between moderate and strong shaking for more than a minute
A person from Valparaiso writes : second aftershock weaker than the fist aftershock. Guessing second was a 3 first was a 4.3 the actual earthquake was more than a 6.4… maybe it just feels stronger because I am on the 10th floor of a tower… in the big one 2 years ago the shaking was less but I was in Puerto Varas and in a house.
- The Mw7.9 earthquake in 1985 killed 177 and injured 2575 but the effects will not be comparable to this quake.
- Of the 50+ previous CATDAT damaging earthquakes, the closest to this earthquake were the M6.7 earthquake around 20km away from this quake which only caused minor damage.
- Chile houses have a very good earthquake resistance
- The 1906 earthquake was M8.5 and killed 3882 people, but was offshore (also far bigger than todays earthquake.
- The major Chile earthquake of 1906 and 1985 were within a radius of 100km.
- Historically, there have been at least 50 damaging earthquakes within a 100km radius of the epicenter
- Strongest intensities have been experienced in Titil and Rancagua following ONEMI Chile (MMI VII = very strong shaking)
- ONEMI Chile is calling the earthquake one of Mayor Intensidad (great intensity).
- 532,000 people will have experienced a strong shaking and nearly a million people a moderate shaking. 8 million people a light shaking
- The epicenter may be positioned in the sea or just below land
- The earthquake struck on the coastal strip 42 km to the north of Valparaiso and 112 km from the Capital Santiago
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“I Have Felt It” reports as received by Earthquake-Report.com
See below for all the received Earthquake Experience reports as received by earthquake-report.com
Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : 6.5
UTC Time : Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 03:50:14 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Monday, April 16, 2012 at 11:50:14 PM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 25.9 km
42 km (26 miles) NNE of Valparaiso, Valparaiso, Chile
81 km (50 miles) W of Los Andes, Valparaiso, Chile
Links to important maps
USGS Did You Feel It Map
Google satellite map showing the epicenter and the surrounding area
Historic earthquakes map
Seismic hazard map
Focal mechanism report
Human impact map
GDACS earthquake report
I Have Felt this earthquake
|GEOFON||Chile-argentina Border Region||Apr 17 09:49 AM||4.2||147||MAP I Felt It|
|GEOFON||Near Coast Of Central Chile||Apr 17 04:03 AM||4.8||39||MAP I Felt It|
|EMSC||Offshore Valparaiso, Chile||Apr 17 04:03 AM||5.0||40||MAP I Felt It|
|USGS||Offshore Valparaiso, Chile||Apr 17 04:03 AM||5.1||36||MAP I Felt It|
|USGS||Valparaiso, Chile||Apr 17 03:50 AM||6.7||37||MAP I Felt It|
|EMSC||Valparaiso, Chile||Apr 17 03:50 AM||6.7||30||MAP I Felt It|
|GEOFON||Near Coast Of Central Chile||Apr 17 03:50 AM||6.7||29||MAP I Felt It|
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