Sunday, May 9, 2010

Early this AM another aftershock 5.0 May 9, 2010

Our Bio-Bio region of Chile experienced another aftershock early today, 6:45 AM local time.  This was reported by the USGS as a 5.0 magnitude.   We didn't have any damages at our place.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

New Strong 6.4 Aftershock on May 3, 2010

We felt another strong aftershock in our home in the Chile region of Bio-Bio at 7:10 last evening.  This one measured 6.4 magnitude on the Richter Scale.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sunday Morning - Another Strong Aftershock May 2, 2010

We experienced another strong aftershock on Sunday morning at 10:53 AM local time ....  a 5.8 magnitude.    This one caused a gentle, slow, back and forth movement of our entire home, and it was not even in our Bio-Bio region of Chile!   It was to the north in the Maule region, but still scary here.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Two New Aftershocks this Morning - April 29, 2010

We have felt two new aftershocks this morning  - the first one was at 0356 AM local time here in Chile and was a 5.1 magnitude, the next one was at 0940 AM local time and measured 4.9.  We felt both of these at our home in the Bio-Bio region near Chillan, just some shaking and rattling but thankfully no damage! The more recent 4.9 aftershock actually felt stronger because the epicenter was only about 25 miles from our home.

Friday, April 23, 2010

UPDATE - USGS Reports the Latest Aftershock was 6.1 Magnitude

USGS has just reported this latest strong aftershock was a 6.1 magnitude that happened about 20 minutes ago. 

Another Strong Aftershock at 6:03 in Bio-Bio Region Chile April 23, 2010

This one was pretty strong.  Our whole house shook, chairs starting moving, house plants were shaking.  The preliminary USGS report says it was a 6.0 magnitude.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

USGS Reported Another Aftershock in the Bio-Bio Region of Chile Aoril 21, 2010

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported another aftershock in our Bio-Bio region of Chile during the night just minutes before midnight at 23:52 local time that measured 4.7 on the Richter scale.  No damage was reported in our area.  Aftershocks in Chilean Spanish are called "replicas".

Monday, April 19, 2010

April 19, 2010 Another Aftershock this Morning

About 3:30 this morning there was another aftershock of 5.0 magnitude felt in the Bio-Bio region of Chile.   There were no reported damages anywhere.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

More Aftershocks 18 Apr. 2010 at 0149UTC in BioBio Chile

We felt another aftershock from the recent big earthquake last evening, this time a 5.1 magnitude, about 9:49 PM local time here in Chile in the Bio-Bio Region near Chillan where we live.  No damage....we just felt the slow back and forth movement of our solid brick and concrete home.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Could Volcanic Eruptions Follow Chile's Earthquake? Experts Say "Yes"

We live almost directly on a line between the recent 8.8 massive Chile earthquake in the Bio-Bio region of Chile and the Chillan Volcano, or Volcán Chillán - also known as Nevados de Chillán. And this article indicates that volcanoes are more likely to be active within the next 12 months, especially volcanoes within a 500 km. radius of the epicenter of the big earthquake. From our home, we have a clear view of this Volcano.

According to Oxford University volcanologist, David Pyle, Chile's magnitude 8.8 earthquake may be a prelude to a series of volcanic explosions. "We expect to see an upsurge in volcanic activity over the next 12 months," said Pyle.

In his notebooks of the voyage of the HMS Beagle, Charles Darwin noted the link between large earthquake off Chile's coastline in February 1835 which resurrect previously inactive volcanoes, and cause active ones to increase their eruption rates: "The papers will have told you about the great Earthquake of the 20th of February. I suppose it certainly is the worst ever experienced in Chili (sic). It is no use attempting to describe the ruins--it is the most awful spectacle I ever beheld. The town of Concepcion is now nothing more than piles and lines of bricks, tiles and timbers-- it is absolutely true there is not one house left habitable."

Last year, Pyle and his colleagues found that after a magnitude 8.3 in 1906 and a magnitude 9.5 earthquake in 1960, there were three or four more volcanic eruptions within about 500 kilometres of the epicentre in the following year than would normally be expected.


Last week's earthquake occurred on the same section of fault that caused the earthquake Darwin observed in 1835. "We'll be using satellite measurements of heat and deformation to keep an eye on the entire arc of volcanoes, from Llaima in the south to Tupungatito in the north," said Pyle.

The image above shows a plume of ashes spewed by the Chaiten volcano as seen from the city of Chaiten, 1,200km south from Santiago, Chile on May 5, 2008 -its first activity in over 9,000 years.

The image below shows local residents are helped to board during evacuation operations following the eruption of the Chaiten volcano, in the locality of Chaiten on May 2, 2008. About 1,500 people had to be evacuated after the eruption, which caused a red alert in neighbouring regions of Chile and Argentina.

Pyle and Oxford University colleagues studied the massive Chaitén volcano in southern Chile that began to erupt explosively on 2 May 2008 -the biggest volcanic eruption in almost 20 years. The study showed that the impact of past eruptions is likely to have been significantly underestimated as so much of the evidence quickly disappears, For six days afterwards the volcano pumped huge volumes of ash high into the atmosphere before its activity began to decline to a low intensity eruption

"The area around a volcano immediately after an eruption is like a crime scene where the evidence can quickly be destroyed by the elements,’ said Pyle of Oxford University’s Department of Earth Sciences. ‘Ash deposited on land will rapidly be removed by rain or wind, while ash deposited out to sea is only accessible by collecting core samples of the sea-floor sediment. This makes it extremely difficult for volcanologists to accurately reconstruct a past eruption from the available evidence and say how much fine ash was deposited, and over what area, during an eruption.’

Chaiten3 The team’s work on Chaitén has shown that the several millimetres thickness of ash deposited across Argentina have been lost from wide areas – of at least 50,000 square kilometers – in only nine months. A geologist attempting to map the region affected by ash fallout now would significantly underestimate the size of the area affected, and as a result would underestimate the size of the eruption and the amount of ash erupted.

‘By using satellite imagery to guide us, we were able to map the ash fallout across Argentina to a thickness of less than one tenth of a millimetre,’ said Sebastian Watt, a PhD student in Oxford’s Department of Earth Sciences, who led the team. ‘We collected samples from over 220 sites across an area of 100,000 square kilometres and with these field data and samples we were able to make the first scientific assessment of the size and impact of the eruption.’

The Chaitén eruption had immediate social and economic impacts across Patagonia (southern Chile and Argentina), with more than 5,000 people evacuated from settlements up to 75 km from the volcano, and extensive ash deposition leading to regional disruption of agriculture and aviation. The volcano was not routinely monitored, and there was no recognised warning before the eruption started.

The Andes Mountains along the western coastline of South America include numerous active steep-sided, cone-shaped stratovolcanoes. The majority of these volcanoes were formed and are still fed by magma generated as the Nazca tectonic plate under the southeastern Pacific Ocean moves northeastward and plunges beneath the South American continental plate—a process known as subduction. The Nazca plate is the source of last week's earthquake. The line of Andean volcanoes marks the approximate location of the subduction zone.

This astronaut photograph (below) highlights two volcanoes located near the southern boundary of the Nazca–South America subduction zone in southern Chile. Dominating the scene is the massive Minchinmávida Volcano (image upper right). Charles Darwin observed an eruption of this glaciated volcano during his Galapagos Islands voyage in 1834; the last recorded eruption took place the following year. When this photo was taken, the white, snow-covered summit of Minchinmávida was blanketed by gray ash erupted from its much smaller but now-active neighbor to the west, Chaitén Volcano.

Another aftershock of 5,5 Magnitude

Around 7:15 PM last evening we felt yet another aftershock in our area. This time it was reported to be a 5.5.  We did not have any damage but these continuing aftershocks are scary!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday PM - Another Strong Aftershock

Just when we thought the aftershocks were finished, about 30 minutes ago at 7:58 PM local Chile time, the house started shaking again pretty strongly.  Things started rattling.  It scared us....we ran outside.  The USGS report says it was only a 5.9 magnitude, but to us it felt stronger.  These are not good for the nerves!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Continuing Aftershocks - Monday, March 29, 2010

We felt at least two more aftershocks during the night, Sunday night.  So I checked the USGS reports, and there was a 4.8 in my region about 11:08 last evening, and then at 3:35 AM this morning there was another one, a 5.3.   These continuing aftershocks concern us, but they are (so far) not damaging.  The house just moves very slowly along with the ground moving back and forth.   But we'll be so happy when these stop for good!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Another strong aftershock Sunday afternoon March 21

We just experienced another strong aftershock, a 5.7 magnitude...our home moved back and forth for what seemed like a minute or more.   But no damage was done.  Here is the USGS notification map....

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Highway Damage near our place after the huge 8.8 earthquake

We were quite surprised to see the damage to our local highway.....this would be equivalent to a county highway in the USA.....and we understand now why this road was closed for several days after the big quake.  The pavement split apart and both sides of the break actually shifted sideways more than one meter.   You can see the white center line in the photo below....this was a straight road here before the quake.....

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Chile Earthquake Blog - Tuesday Morning Update March 16

Everything was going smoothly yesterday and last evening until after we went to bed and then we were shocked again with an earthquake about 11:22 PM with more "shakes, rattles, and rolls", but not the kind I like! We were startled, so I got up and turned on the TV to see how big it was a 6.7....shook the entire house and earth like it was nothing.   Then at 12:05 AM another one hit...this time only a 5.5 but still it's scary when the whole house starts moving with creaking noises, and our home is solid concrete and brick structure -- all walls and floors.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday Morning Update March 15

It was mostly quiet during Sunday night except for a three-hour national power failure which some say was a result of some previous earthquake damage. But this morning at 8:08 AM, we felt another strong aftershock, this time measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale....we will be so happy when these aftershocks stop!

Here is the USGS map showing this latest earthquake:

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Day Five - After the Big One

We finally got electricity again late yesterday evening and since the aftershocks were reducing in strength and frequency, we decided it was safe to start sleeping in our home again instead of the tent.

But we were shocked this morning before daylight when the house started shaking again about 6:20 AM. That was a 6.3 and about the strongest we have felt since the big one last Saturday. Then at 7:31 we felt another one, not quite as strong but closer to us. It was a 5.1. Then as I'm typing this...I just to run outside again....about 8:47 AM we felt another strong one....shook the house, windows rattled, and my wife was outside and we both felt the ground shaking quite strongly under our feet. We will be so happy when these aftershocks are over. We're hearing on TV this last one minutes ago at about 8:47 AM was 6.8 magnitude. This is scary. You could physically see our house shaking. So, unfortunately for us, it seems these aftershocks are really earthquakes themselves, and are continuing and maybe even increasing in intensity. This latest 6.8 quake in red on the USGS map below is right over the area where we live. It will only take a slightly stronger one to knock out our electricity again. We hope that doesn't happen. Also, a stronger one could also cause more serious damage to our home. We are concerned. The 6.8 is much stronger than the 6.3 that woke us up this morning.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Day Three - After the Big One - 3 March 2010

Tuesday morning.....we are still without power. Running on solar and/or generator at times. We are still feeling aftershocks every little while. CNN said the big one was felt in every country in South America. Sao Paulo felt it 1800 miles away. We live near the city of's NE of Concepcion.....we are about the same distance from the epicenter of the earthquake as is Concepcion. Actually Chillan is closer - exactly 100 km. from the epicenter of the big quake, Concepcion is 115 km. It was very horrible here. We are still feeling aftershocks every little while.....they are expected to continue for a month or longer. But we are ok. We have plenty of food---to last months if necessary. Because roads and highways and bridges are out, there will be big problems with deliveries of food, fuels, etc. There may be martial law -- there is already a nightly curfew in Concepcion. We live at about Km. 18 right near the highway ...the highway that runs between Chillan and Coihueco.

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Day Four - After the Big One - 4 March 2010

People in the states are not getting the whole story of this Chile earthquake. I have DirecTV here, so I have the advantage of being able to watch the local coverage, plus the coverage by CNN and FOX. On the first and second day after the quake, CNN had almost continuous coverage of the two largest cities here (only), and FOX had very little coverage which is understandable because FOX isn't really a news network anyway, but a commentary network. There are five major national TV stations here in Chile, and four of these have had continuous coverage of the quake and the destruction every day and is continuing. What we are seeing on all four of these national Chilean stations is the real destruction.....there are many towns and small cities that are completely destroyed. CNN of course cannot possibly have reporters and correspondents in all these places, so you are not seeing any of this coverage in the states. There is total destruction in many areas. They look like war zones or worse. The news reporting is continuing on these four stations without any commercial breaks. There are still many small towns and cities that are inaccessible by road because of the quake, and they are getting to them by helicopter as fast as possible. From what I'm seeing, the Chilean government is even underestimating the amount of the destruction. Today is our fifth day since the quake, and we still don't have electricity. The power company will not even take my name or account number, but instead they are giving a general message to all callers that all workers and repairmen are working 24 hours per day and they will get to everyone as soon as possible. One thing is good....the aftershocks are now fewer and lighter, maybe we feel one every three or four hours instead of every 15 minutes. We are still sleeping in our tent outside in a clear area....Clare is still afraid to sleep in the house.

Day Two - After the big Quake - 1 March 2010

We've been through hell. In my 67 years, no experience like that before. We jumped out of into the closet thinking the roof might collapse. Everything on the closet shelves came down on us.....we were shook sideways VIOLENTLY.....didn't think we would live through that. They say it shook continuously for 45 seconds but I'll swear it was more like 2 minutes and we were screaming.....we didn't think it would stop. We were being shoved against the closet shelf edges, etc.....I should say slammed against. I've never been that shook up before...ever. Now it is Monday afternoon and the aftershocks are still about every 15 minutes or so that we can's kind of like the chair under us is wobbling or something.....sometimes the windows rattle. We are sleeping outside in our tent.....we are both scared to sleep inside yet. Our house is basically ok but sustained some minor damage. Ceramic wall tiles were broken on the interior walls in almost every room and crashed to the floor... also all glasses and dishes etc were thrown outside the cabinets to the kitchen floor and shattered....broken glass everywhere. Bottles of vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce...everything thrown out of closed cabinet doors and busted on the floor. No power yet....we're on solar power. And we use out generator in the evening before bed, then I get up and turn on the battery (solar backup) systen about 3 AM .....this keeps our deepfreezer and refrigerator running fine. The phone service, and internet, just came back on minutes ago.