"Earthquake of the Century" Will Shake Chile, Scientists Say

According to a study published by the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters, the earthquake would have a minimum magnitude of 8.3 degrees on the Richter scale with its epicenter in the city of Valparaiso.

The work is based on an analysis of the 8.4 earthquake that had as its epicenter the Chilean town of Illapel on September 16, 2015, where they discovered a pattern: tremors of great intensity in the central area occur in a period of 60 to 80 years.

The reason for these devastating earthquakes that will occur in the future is because the Nazca tectonic plate is constantly converging under the South American plate.

Today this process takes place at a rate of about three inches a year. In this way, a gap of about 4.5 meters arises that is compensated every 70 years, causing powerful earthquakes as a consequence.

The area affected by the earthquake of the century is forecast to be the capital of Chile, the epicenter of this earthquake is expected in the city of Valparaíso, located about 100 kilometers from Santiago.

Recently, a chain of strong earthquakes has struck the central Chilean coast at the end of April.

At least seven earthquakes in less than an hour and with different magnitudes were registered near the city of Valparaíso, in the central region of Chile.

The strongest of them was registered on April 24, when an earthquake of magnitude 6.9 on the Richter scale occurred on the high seas.

In 1960 Chile was shaken by an earthquake measuring 9.5 on the Richter scale, the strongest in recorded history.

In recent years, the largest earthquake in Chile was an 8.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the south-central region in 2010, causing a tsunami and killing more than 500 people.

The tremors keep Chileans living in the central area of ​​the country on constant alert, which is located in the so-called “Pacific ring of fire” and which, for that reason, is one of the most seismic in the world.


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