M8.8 Earthquake Strikes Chile March 2, 2010Posted by tanzaniageologists in 1.
A great earthquake, magnitude 8.8 occurred off the Chilean coast at 3:34 a.m. local time. A tsunami warning was issued for the whole Pacific Ocean basin except the continental United States, Alaska and western Canada (where a tsunami watch was issued), and seismic sea waves have been recorded in many places. Follow the scientific developments on the US Geological Survey’s special page for this event. A live camera from Hawaii showed the slow rise and fall of a tsunami roiling the waters of Hilo Harbor, which had been totally evacuated.
Chile experiences the world’s largest earthquakes, which arise on the long, straight tectonic intersection between the Nazca and South American plates. It’s a subduction zone, and the largest earthquakes there are thrust events in which South America moves westward in relation to the Pacific and the oceanic Nazca plate moves downward. That was the case for this earthquake.
Previous great earthquakes occurred off Chile in 1922 and 1960; “the magnitude 8.8 earthquake of February 27, 2010 ruptured the portion of the South American subduction zone separating these two massive historical earthquakes,” says the USGS.