Last February, a massive magnitude 8.8 quake struck off the Chilean coast, killing hundreds throughout the country.
The studies that followed were unprecedented in the world of geo-science, and the outcome is bleak, to say the least.
A geophysicist with the national Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology tells the New York Times that ground movement during the 2010 quake, although catastrophic, didn’t provide adequate relief of the stresses known to cause earthquakes.
The largest movement was outside a segment known as the Darwin Gap, where Charles Darwin himself witnessed a shocking quake in 1835.
Scientists say a fraction of this gap didn’t rupture and the 2010 earthquake may have actually added stress to certain parts of the Darwin gap, increasing the odds of another quake, although likely not quite as powerful as the shaker that tore through Chile last year.
Researchers at first thought the quake would have filled the gap, relieving stress and reducing the risk of another massive quake. But a large strip of the gap wasn’t filled.
The Maule region was the hardest hit during the 2010 quake. Maule includes the cities of Constitucion and Talca.
In this region, more than 580 people lost their lives. The government of Chile declared a state of emergency. Constitucion sustained heavy earthquake damage as well as ravaging tsunami waves. The devastation spread throughout other parts of Chile as well, from Santiago to the Bio-Bio region.
Now, after more than a year of rebuilding and recovering, it looks like Chile could be in for yet another. The study suggests that in some areas, the risk of a quake is even higher than it was leading up to the 2010 incident. One area of particular risk is a stretch near the city of Conception, which could be hit by a magnitude 7.5 to 8 quake.
The Chilean coast remains one of the most studied areas due to its propensity to unleash massive earthquakes.Originally published on TopSecretWriters.com