Very strong earthquake near Valparaiso, Chile - Shaking video - second (indirect) fatality

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

Seismic hazard map of the epicentral area

-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.

- 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 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. 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.

  1. 26km (16mi) WNW from Hacienda La Calera, Chile
  2. 28km (17mi) NW from Quillota, Chile
  3. 36km (22mi) N from Vina del Mar, Chile
  4. 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

- @ 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).

- 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 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. 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.

Intensity map courtesy USGS

- 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 GOOGLE+ / FACEBOOK
"I Have Felt It" reports as received by
See below for all the received Earthquake Experience reports as received by

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
Geo-location(s) :
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

Refresh this list
SRC Location UTC Date/time M D INFO
GEOFON Chile-argentina Border Region Apr 17 09:49 4.2 147 MAP
GEOFON Near Coast Of Central Chile Apr 17 04:03 4.8 39 MAP
EMSC Offshore Valparaiso, Chile Apr 17 04:03 5.0 40 MAP
USGS Offshore Valparaiso, Chile Apr 17 04:03 5.1 36 MAP
USGS Valparaiso, Chile Apr 17 03:50 6.7 37 MAP
EMSC Valparaiso, Chile Apr 17 03:50 6.7 30 MAP
GEOFON Near Coast Of Central Chile Apr 17 03:50 6.7 29 MAP
  • Santiago, Chile - Moderate shaking indicated
  • Santiago - Moderate shaking indicated
  • Mendoza - Se sintio muy fuerte el temblor..
  • CHILE - No sorry I felt it and this was as strong as the quake in S. Chile a few years ago. It --- aftershock right now
  • Viña del Mar, Chile - Between moderate and strong shaking for more than a minute
  • Santiago - I woke up due to strong shaking. Power went out and car alarms started. Shaking lasted 60 to 90 seconds. Power has now returned.
  • Mendoza, Argentina - Estaba en la cama y comencé a sentir un ruido extraño x alrededor d 1 min, luego comenzó el movimiento pero moderado x otro minuto, y luego paró. No pasó desapercibido.. muy feo..
  • Valparaiso Chile - 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.
  • Santiago, Chile - I am at the Radisson Hotel. The paintings started shaking and the ground as well. Nothing fell off the counters but it was strong and lasted for about 45 seconds.
  • santiago, chile - 25-30 seconds
  • santiago - long shaking, and strong... 1st floor and all moving... Good night
  • Santiago Chile - I am at the Cesar Business Hotel and I felt the shake for few seconds
  • Cordoba - Movemends of my bed for more or less 1 min.
  • Las Condes - Santiago - horizontal moving - more than a minute
  • Mendoza, Argentina - I was awake anyway, but my husband was awoken from sleep. The glass doors to the terrace shook very loudly and the bed noticeably moved. I unlocked the door in case we had to leave. I could hear other people in the hostel unlocking theirs too. The shaking was mild at first but got stronger and lasted maybe 30-40 seconds.
  • Las Condes - Santiago - Weak shaking indicated
  • Córdoba, Argentina - I was in my bed then I felt a light swinging motion and noticed the dream-catcher attacked to the ceiling above my bed was also swaying. I was in a a 13-story apartment building on the 6th floor in Cordoba, Argentina.
  • Santiago, Chili - We woke up due to strong shaking. The shaking felt like the earthquake of feb. 2010. we heard some objects fell and break. Telephones went down inmediately, but electricity keeps working.
  • Valparaiso - No previous sound, It started reaaally strong, right from the beggining, some things fell, the sad thing is telephones lines went down... again
  • Santiago - Estou no hotel Cesar Busness. Primeira vez que vive esta experiencia. Fiquei bastante preocupada, vizinhos de quarto me tranquilizaram.
  • Las Condes, Santiago - No horizontal shaking. Strong shaking and wake us up. Last longer than last time (march -12) about one minute. We are on the fifth floor and we felt hard shaking and end of the shaking our building start to wave.
  • CHILE - it was very long it started and i was like ok just a tremor and than ok small qauke it will over soon then i was like ok time to go i ran out the house family was freaked people were running in the streets its crazy because a scientist predicted this quake my friends are in vina and they said it was awful and several weeks ago a 7.1 that lasted for minutes they say its the weapon designed by usa called the haarp a meteor or solar flares i dont but i dont do quakes im ready to go back to md
  • Santiago - Strong shaking indicated
  • a

    and QuakeSOS free are iPhone applications developed by Armand Vervaeck, the founder of Earthquake Report. The Application simplifies immediate group communication to friends and family members (with your exact GPS location) and is feeding the users with Earthquake Report news. The 0.99 US$ QuakeSOS+ version will support the activities of SOS Earthquakes.

    a headlines on twitter
    @OnlyQuakeNews : Get all the headlines of our articles + regular updates on ongoing events
    @QuakeSOS : news + automatic earthquake notifications of USGS earthquakes of M 4.0 or higher with emphasis to earthquakes in the America's and the Pacific Ocean sphere (4 and up) and a lot of the rest of the world (5 and up). This account was created for our QuakeSOS and QuakeSOS+ iPhone applications
    @ShakingEarth : news + automatic earthquake notifications of EMSC earthquakes of M 4.0 or higher with emphasis to earthquakes in European and Asian / Middle East sphere (4 and up) and a lot of the rest of the world (5 and up). This account was originally created to stimulate our Facebook account
    @QuakeMaps : news with mapping notifications of ALL earthquakes M 3.0 and higher from all over the world via EMSC and USGS. This account was created for our website


    I felt the shaking *
    Country where you felt the earthquake *
    City/Village where you felt the earthquake *
    Street or suburb (area) where you felt the earthquake
    Latitude (area) where you felt the earthquake
    Longitude (area) where you felt the earthquake
    Shaking Strength *
    MMI II (Very weak shaking) ?
    People :
    Felt by persons at rest, on upper floors or favorably placed.
    MMI III (Weak shaking) ?
    People :
    Felt indoors; hanging objects may swing, vibration similar to passing of light trucks, duration may be estimated, may not be recognized as an earthquake.
    MMI IV (Light shaking) ?
    People :
    Generally noticed indoors but not outside. Light sleepers may be awakened. Vibration may be likened to the passing of heavy traffic, or to the jolt of a heavy object falling or striking the building.
    Fittings :
    Doors and windows rattle. Glassware and crockery rattle. Liquids in open vessels may be slightly disturbed. Standing motorcars may rock.
    Structures :
    Walls and frames of buildings, and partitions and suspended ceilings in commercial buildings, may be heard to creak.
    MMI V (Moderate shaking) ?
    People :
    Generally felt outside, and by almost everyone indoors. Most sleepers awakened. A few people alarmed.
    Fittings :
    Small unstable objects are displaced or upset. Some glassware and crockery may be broken. Hanging pictures knock against the wall. Open doors may swing. Cupboard doors secured by magnetic catches may open. Pendulum clocks stop, start, or change rate.
    Structures :
    Some large display windows cracked. A few earthenware toilet fixtures cracked.
    MMI VI (Strong shaking) ?
    People Felt by all. People and animals alarmed. Many run outside. Difficulty experienced in walking steadily.
    Fittings :
    Objects fall from shelves. Pictures fall from walls. Some furniture moved on smooth floors, some unsecured free-standing fireplaces moved. Glassware and crockery broken. Very unstable furniture overturned. Small church and school bells ring. Appliances move on bench or table tops. Filing cabinets or "easy glide" drawers may open (or shut).
    Structures :
    Slight damage to buildings with low standard. Some stucco or cement plaster falls. Large display windows broken. Damage to a few weak domestic chimneys, some may fall.
    Environment :
    Trees and bushes shake, or are heard to rustle. Loose material may be dislodged from sloping ground, e.g. existing slides, talus slopes, shingle slides.
    MMI VII (Very strong shaking) ?
    General alarm. Difficulty experienced in standing. Noticed by motorcar drivers who may stop.
    Fittings :
    Large bells ring. Furniture moves on smooth floors, may move on carpeted floors. Substantial damage to fragile contents of buildings.
    Structures :
    Unreinforced stone and brick walls cracked. Low standard buildings cracked with some minor masonry falls. A few instances of damage to buildings of ordinary workmanship. Unbraced parapets, unbraced brick gables, and architectural ornaments fall. Roofing tiles, especially ridge tiles may be dislodged. Many unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, often falling from roof-line. Water tanks Type I burst. A few instances of damage to brick veneers and plaster or cement-based linings. Unrestrained water cylinders (hot-water cylinders) may move and leak. Some common windows cracked. Suspended ceilings damaged.
    Environment :
    Water made turbid by stirred up mud. Small slides such as falls of sand and gravel banks, and small rock-falls from steep slopes and cuttings. Instances of settlement of unconsolidated or wet, or weak soils. Some fine cracks appear in sloping ground. A few instances of liquefaction (i.e. small water and sand ejections).
    MMI VIII (Severe shaking) ?
    People Alarm may approach panic. Steering of motorcars greatly affected. Structures : Low standard buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. ordinary workmanship buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged in some cases. A few instances of damage to buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes. Monuments and pre-1976 elevated tanks and factory stacks twisted or brought down. Some pre-1965 infill masonry panels damaged. A few post-1980 brick veneers damaged. Decayed timber piles of houses damaged. Houses not secured to foundations may move. Most unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, some below roof-line, many brought down. Environment : Cracks appear on steep slopes and in wet ground. Small to moderate slides in roadside cuttings and unsupported excavations. Small water and sand ejections and localized lateral spreading adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
    MMI IX (Violent shaking) ?
    Structures Many low standard buildings destroyed. Ordinary workmanship buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes damaged in some cases, some with flexible frames seriously damaged. Damage or permanent distortion to some buildings and bridges, designed and built to normal use standards. Houses not secured to foundations shifted off. Brick veneers fall and expose frames. Environment : Cracking of ground conspicuous. Landsliding general on steep slopes. Liquefaction effects intensified and more widespread, with large lateral spreading and flow sliding adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
    Tell us your experience and how many seconds the shaking lasted + let us know if your property has been damaged (even slight damage). (max. 500 characters)
    * mandatory fields