IFRC


Chilean Red Cross Initial Report on Earthquake

Published: 17 September 2015 19:13 CET

Situation

On September 16th 2015, at approximately 7:55pm local time, an earthquake measuring 8.4 on the Richter scale occurred off the coast between the Atacama and La Araucanía regions in northern Chile.  Both the Chilean Red Cross and the National Emergency Office of the Chilean Ministry of the Interior (ONEMI, per its acronym in Spanish) are on high alert following initial damage assessments, immediately issuing tsunami warnings for coastal areas near the epicentre.  The Chilean Navy’s Hydrographic and Oceanographic (SHOA) has since cancelled tsunami warnings for Aysén and Magallanes, though the alert remains for the rest of Chile’s coast.  15,000 people are currently displaced, there have been 5 reported deaths and 1 person reported missing.

Several branches of the Chilean Red Cross have activated their Emergency Operations Centres and have been actively reporting incidents to the Chilean Red Cross national Emergency Operations Centre, which was activated shortly after the initial shock.  As a precautionary measure until the aftershocks subside, volunteers have been advised to stay in safe areas and not report to their branches.

The national Emergency Operations Centre is actively monitoring the events, and has been providing recommendations for psychosocial support and tsunami evacuation through social media: 

https://twitter.com/cruzrojachilena

https://www.facebook.com/cruz.roja.chile

Regional Activity

Arica and Parinacota:

The regional Emergency Operations Centre has been activated and evacuations to safe areas are underway.

Tarapacá:

The regional Emergency Operations Centre has been activated and coastal areas of the region have been evacuated.  115 women have also been evacuated from the local correctional facility.

Antofagasta:

Reports of the sea retreating and wave activity have been reported in Taltal. 

Atacama:

Evacuation is currently underway, including a correctional facility.  Waves were reported at Huasco at approximately 8:49pm.

Coquimbo:

The regional Emergency Operations Centre has been activated.  Preliminary reports indicate that there have been 2 fatalities in the communities of Illapel and Monte Patria.  Evacuation is currently underway, and a steady set of waves began approaching the shores of Coquimbo and Tongoy at approximately 8:20pm.

Valparaíso:

The regional Emergency Operations Centre has been activated, and evacuation to safe areas is currently underway.  Wave activity is being monitored.

Metropolitan Region:

Telephone services are currently congested.  One person has died in the community of Maipú due to cardiac arrest.  Chilectra, an energy supply and distribution company, is reporting problems supplying power to 28,612 clients in the communities of Renca, Quilicura, Lampa, Independencia, Las Condes, and Pudahuel.

O’Higgins:

Evacuation to safe areas is currently underway.  The sea has retreated in Matanza, Pichilemu, La Puntilla, and Navidad.

Maule:

People on the coastal areas have already been evacuated, as have hospitals and correctional facilities.  The sea has been reported as retreating by 5 meters in Llico and 2 meters in Pelluhue.  Telephone networks have been congested.

Biobío:

90% of the coastal area has been evacuated and the correctional facility is currently being evacuated

La Araucanía:

The regional Emergency Operations Centre has been activated, and evacuation to safe areas is currently underway.  Power has been cut off to several areas.

Los Ríos:

The regional Emergency Operations Centre has been activated, and evacuation to safe areas is currently underway. 

Los Lagos:

Evacuation to safe areas is currently underway.  

Aysén:

The regional Emergency Operations Centre has been activated, and evacuation to safe areas is currently underway.  The communities of Melinka, Melimoyu, Cisnes, Puerto Aguirre, Puerto Aysén, Chacabuco, Caleta Tortel, and Puyuhuapi have all been evacuated.  Puerto Gala, Puerto Gaviota, and Base Cupquelan have yet to confirm their evacuation.

The Chilean Navy has vessels on standby in Melinka, Puerto Aguirre, Chacabuco, and Puerto Cisnes. 

Magallanes:

Both the regional and provincial Emergency Operations Centres have been activated.  The evacuation process has not yet started.

Technical Details

Magnitude (Richter): 8.4

Epicentre:

Latitude: -31.553

Longitude: -71.864

Geographic reference: 42 Kms west of Canela Baja

Region: Coquimbo

Depth (Kms): 11.1

Source: National Seismology Centre (Centro Sismológico Nacional) 




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