Eathquake musings

Well, not completely dodged…

with one comment

While casualties and damage from the 8.2 quake near Iquique were thankfully light thanks to the smallish tsunami and good Chilean building codes, the local fishing fleet was heavily damaged.  Iquique is mostly a mining town, and the port there is a mostly man made fill expanding on several rock islands just offshore.  In the lee of this port facility, were numerous small fishing boats that were trapped in the open ended roadstead when he tsunami arrived.  I doubt the local fishermen would call the damage light.


Fishing boats washed ashore by a tsunami sit in the waters of Iquique, Chile, on Wednesday, April 2. A magnitude-8.2 earthquake struck off the coast of northern Chile on Tuesday, April 1, triggering small landslides and prompting evacuations of coastal areas. At least six people were reported dead.

Wrecked boats in Iquique (AP photo)

This again reminded me of what would probably be a similar result to an earthquake of this size in the Pacific Northwest.  While we are well behind in preparedness, at least we know what to do.  Finding the will and the money is another matter.  But fishermen around the world are not so easily moved to higher ground, or at least their boats and livelihoods are not.  The same is true here in the northwest, in Japan, in Sumatra and wherever a subduction zone underlies the coast.  In first world countries, the answer is typically insurance, because there is no known cure for this problem. Well there is one cure, practiced in Japan, and that is massive tsunami walls and gates in some of the rivers and harbors. Elsewhere, not so much.

River gate in Minami-Sanriku (USGS)

Written by eqgold

April 3, 2014 at 4:51 pm

One Response

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  1. I just found a new earthquake alert app for android phones. It’s pretty cool because it’s simple to use and is super reliable. I thought maybe you guys or your subscribers might be interested. It’s called Earthquake Monitor by PotatoRamba. Check it out if you’re looking for a new alert app.


    Aleese Quanto

    April 12, 2014 at 7:04 pm

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