Chile: the earthquake changed the direction of travel of the territory
Before the devastating earthquake of February, the country was moving along with the
entire continent towards Africa. But now he does to the southwest towards the
The late February earthquake altered the movement of the Chilean territory, which
before to the northeast along with the entire continent –looking towards
Africa- but now changed its course towards the southwest Pacific Ocean,
military specialists said.
According to the Military Geographic Institute of Chile, before the earthquake, the South
American Plate pushed Chile towards the northeast, like the rest of the
continent, three or four inches a year.
"To change from year to year the map coordinates, it is estimated that the
continent is moving from three to four inches a year in a northeasterly
direction, that is, to Africa," explained Col. Juan Vidal, director of the
institution, to La Tercera newspaper.
But the powerful earthquake caused a change in the part of the South American plate
that runs along the Chilean coast --particularly in the central and southern
areas, the hardest hit by the quake --which now carries a large part of Chile
towards the southwest, in the direction of the Pacific Ocean.
"We detected a movement of three to four centimeters a day in the area of
Cobquecura and Concepcion (500 km south of Santiago), which translates to about
one meter per month, towards the sea, accurate Vidal.
The institute can record the movement because it has 50 stations installed between
the central and south regions, they [the stations] report the information.
Vidal said that these movements are imperceptible to the human eye, but will have
legal and cartographic implications.
On February 27, southern Chile was hit by an earthquake measuring 8.8 degrees on
the Richter scale and a subsequent tsunami, leaving 486 dead, 79 missing and
damages valued at some 30,000 million dollars.
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