Natural Disaster Paper Homework 2

I started to wonder what precautions chile is taking

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curious. I started to wonder what precautions Chile is taking to make sure that if another hazard does strike again they are prepared. Alternatively, what type of warning system the country has in place to make sure its citizens are aware? Once I started to ask myself these questions, I knew that I wanted to dig deeper into the topic of The Great Chilean Earthquake and find out what made it so great. The massive earthquake affected multiple areas and multiple countries with a tremendous amount of economic cost and loses of life. In Chile, Valdivia and Puerto Montt affected the most due to the fact these cities of Chile were the closest to the epicenter. The majority of the buildings in these areas were demolished from the energy of the aftermath of the earthquake. The largest source of energy was established through the tsunami in which occurred due to the effects of the initial earthquake. The tsunami was the cause for the majority of the devastating causing over $550 million in damages and 330-2000 lives lost or still missing. Over 6000 miles away a 3
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portion of Hilo, Hawaii felt the wrath of the earthquake and tsunami with $62 million in damages and 62 deaths. The main cause was determined that intervals of 8-20ft waves crashed the small city of the island. The third wave was estimated at 20 feet, which engulfed the entire city causing havoc and panic for the entire community. Waves reaching to 6m impacted the coast of Japan destroying 1600 homes, 199 were killed, with $50 million in economic damages along the coast of Honsho. Over 9000 miles from the epicenter, California reported 5.6m waves crashing the coach causing minimal damage to the docks in only 15 hours after the earthquake occurrence. (Natural Geophysical Data Center, 1989) Recovery efforts for initial life support began on the following day, May 23rd, with transportation of antibiotics, blankets, and clothing. The Ministry of Interior and Finance, along with the United States Embassy and Chilean Red Cross coordinated efforts for which within hours aided in facilitating the Churches Welfare Department. The United States conducted efforts through flying in complete hospitals with doctors and nurses aided in the medical relief. As long as the emergency continued, the churches continued to ship in clothing, blankets, medicines, and material for rebuilding with no cost to the Chile government. Through research it was determined the relief effort continued for approximately 18-years. During the time of the earthquake, Chile’s population was estimated at 7.6 million and will continue to grow to 20.06 million by the year 2050. (De Wulf, 2008) No hazard mitigations were made in regards to The Great Chilean Earthquake. Although an earthquake occurred in Chile in 1939, only a mere 21 years earlier, very few preparations were made for future hazards. Although there were sirens sounding within the city, many residents did not know what they meant and felt it was safe to return to the previously evacuated 4
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area. The few things that Chile did have to warn people (such as the alarm) failed because no one
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