What would happen in Chile if there was an earthquake of the same intensity as Japan in 2024?

Fires, structural collapses and a high number of deaths. Japan is suffering the severe consequences of a powerful 7.6 magnitude earthquake, which has raised concerns about Chile’s ability to withstand a similar earthquake.

Following the news that Japan experienced an intense earthquake on January 1, 2024, Some Chileans were worried about what might happen if we were also hit by an earthquake of such intensity.

And the magnitude of 7.6 degrees on the Richter scale, which shook the coast of the Asian country of Ishikawa and whose movement was perceived even in Tokyo, So far, 48 people have died, several are missing and authorities still don’t know how many are still trapped under the rubble.

Some homes and buildings collapsed, highways were destroyed and various utility poles fell, leaving at least 36,000 homes without power. There were also fires which were partly responsible for the human losses.

Could these serious consequences be repeated in Chili , in case we experience a similar earthquake? This is the opinion of an expert.

What would happen in Chile if there was an earthquake of the same intensity as Japan in 2024? Photo: Kyodo/via REUTERS

Is Chile prepared to suffer an earthquake comparable to that of Japan in 2024?

Some people On social media, speculation quickly began that the earthquake in Japan could herald one in Chile in the coming days. However, Luis Donoso, seismologist and academic in applied geophysics of the Development University categorically refutes this prediction.

“Correlating something that is outside of this geological fault line hundreds or thousands of kilometers away makes no sense. It’s like an accident that happened near Vicuña Mackenna and is linked to an accident in Concepción” explains the expert to The third.

However, if a mega-earthquake were to occur at some point …which doesn’t mean it’s related to the one that happened recently in Japan— Donoso believes it could be in the central area and would “probably cause significant damage.”

What would happen in Chile if there was an earthquake of the same intensity as Japan in 2024? Photo: Patricio Lepin

To get an idea of ​​the force of the earthquake in Japan, the seismologist compares it to the acceleration of gravity that occurred in 2010 in Chile: “Measuring more than 1 g is complicated. The earthquake on the 27th was 0.7 g, and in Japan it was almost 3.8. It’s a lot. “No structure that is not specifically designed or insulated will survive.”

But an important variable that can completely change the damage scenario, compared to what happened in Japan, is that the Asian country has advanced technology to record earthquakes and make decisions that reduce damage in addition to making this information known to its population in time, while in Chile it is still relevant today.

For him, In the event of an earthquake of this intensity in the country, “the information will be confused in the first hours, because it will depend on local information.”

For example, Every time there is an earthquake in the country, after a few minutes, a report comes from the National Seismological Center which indicates where the epicenter was and what its magnitude was.

Example of a report from the National Seismology Center.

In exchange there Japan Meteorological Agency has tools where they provide this information second by second (in real time) and what’s more, it is accessible to the entire public.

Example of tools Japan uses to report earthquakes in real time.

“He National Disaster Prevention and Response Service (Senapré) It does not have technical organizations inside, but is powered by organizations external to the institution, such as seismology. The ability to analyze and take a different look at this information does not exist, they must trust what they are given. said Donoso to L.T. .

That’s to saythis institution has no way of verifying information on the various disasters that occur in the country, but simply works according to a logic of trust. to the extent that what outside organizations give you is good.

Transparency of information is therefore essential to avoid human and material losses during this type of natural disaster.

“The goal is to ensure that as few people as possible die. The phenomena cannot be avoided, hopefully some problems can be alleviated, but the more information people have, the better they will respond.

Source: Latercera

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