Earthquakes

Below is a list of all the 4.5 or greater earthquakes in the Viña del Mar and Valparaiso area while we have been in Chile.  If Wooly felt the quake there will be notes added to what it felt like.

Also, for the non-science geeks reading this, there are two types of waves in an earthquake.  The first one that hits is the P-wave and is short and lets you know there is more to come.  It travels through the earth and is always the first to hit.  The S-wave is next and takes more time to get to you because it travels on the surface of the earth.  And as everyone knows, a straight line is the shortest.  The S-wave is also the one that typically does the damage, lasts the longest, and does the most shaking.

The Count:     Earthquakes: 30     Felt: 14

18 Jan at 00:59 – Magnitude 5.0                                                                              Wooly slept through this one but it woke Raeski up.  He didn’t bother to wake up when Raeski tried to wake him by asking if he felt it.  The gall of that guy.  We had just got back from our last trip in Chile so it was a kind of ‘welcome home’ tremor and a aren’t you going to miss this when you go back to the U.S. this week?

9 Jan at 15:59 – Magnitude 4.6                                                                              Didn’t feel this one either.  After going a couple of months without any tremors things seem to be picking up pace again.

9 Jan at 15:35 – Magnitude 4.6                                                                              Nope, didn’t feel it.

7 Jan at 10:46 – Magnitude 4.6                                                                              We both felt it.  Wooly was on the 14th floor and Raeski was on the 22nd floor.  It was a small tremor with very little swaying.  Like many small tremors the P wave was more noticeable than the S wave.

16 Nov at 21:33 – Magnitude 4.8                                                                             Raeski felt it, Wooly didn’t.  The movement was more of up and down rather than swaying back and forth and was very short lived.   At least that’s what the people who felt it said.

26 Oct at 20:38 – Magnitude 4.7                                                                              We may live just outside the shake zone because it was a bit further away than some of the others and we didn’t feel it.

24 Oct at 20:38 – Magnitude 5.1                                                                              We must be getting used to these things.  We didn’t feel it.

24 Oct at 04:16 – Magnitude 5.2                                                                              We slept through this one.

14 Oct at 06:50 – Magnitude 4.8                                                                              Nope, we didn’t feel this one either.

14 Oct at 06:16 – Magnitude 5.2                                                                              Nope, we didn’t feel this one even though we were already up and getting ready for work.

23 Aug at 18:32 – Magnitude 6.5                                                                             No doubt, we felt this one.  Raeski was standing on a chair when it hit.  In less than a second she was down and headed to a safe area of the apartment.  The building swayed for about a minute.  This one was rather close to Viña so we felt the full impact.  Ahh, just another day in Chile.

11 Aug at 00:22 – Magnitude 4.7                                                                             Slept through another one.

8 Aug at 00:14 – Magnitude 5.1                                                                                We were asleep and weren’t awakened by this one.

12 July at 16:50 – Magnitude 5.0                                                                             The P-wave got my attention because it was a bit stronger and lasted longer than most.  However, it turns out the S-wave was barely perceptible.  Because the epicenter was so shallow and close to us the P-wave was a bit deceptive making us think it was going to be bigger than what is was.  Oddly enough we had just hung up from a Skype call back to the U.S. in which we were asked if we had any more earthquakes recently.

08 July at 09:25 – Magnitude 4.8                                                                            We didn’t feel this one even though we were close to the epicenter teaching at Escuela Naval.  Most likely this is because we were standing and moving at the time and our attention was focused on our lesson plans.

01 July at 10:22 – Magnitude 5.1                                                                               We were at the naval academy which is closer to San Antonio (the epicenter) than Viña del Mar but we didn’t feel it.

08 June at 04:14 – Magnitude 4.8                                                                            We slept through this one.

30 May at 18:06 – Magnitude 5.0                                                                               It has been 30 days since the last quake so we’ve been in a bit of an earthquake drought.  Of course Raeski wasn’t home and didn’t feel it.  This time I missed the ‘P’ wave but definitely felt the ‘S’ waves as they hit.  Again the swaying was gentle like a hula dancer.  The epicenter was close to San Antonio again.

30 Apr at 14:00 – Magnitude 5.1                                                                              The day before this one I was thinking to myself that it had been a while since the last earthquake.  I was standing in line at the bank when it happened.  The first wave shook the building pretty good and it got deathly quiet in the bank.  We were all waiting for the rocking and rolling we all felt was sure to come.  However the next waves were very small.  Then everyone burst out talking.  Nobody ran for cover because it wasn’t that big.  I did look up to make sure nothing big would fall on me.

10 Apr at 22:08 – Magnitude 5.1                                                                              Another very weak quake but both of us were working on the balcony when we felt it.  Of course we scurried off the balcony to a safer place in the apartment.  This one was centered around the town of San Antonio which was the epicenter of the 5.7 quake on March 4th.

04 Apr at 23:22 – Magnitude 5.4                                                                     We definitely felt this one while we were watching a movie.  The shaking lasted for about 30 seconds.  The apartment building swayed to the rhythm of the shock waves.  This was also the first quake Raeski felt since we’ve been here.

04 Apr at 06:52 – Magnitude 5.4                                                                 When we arrived at school this morning we were asked, “Did you feel the quake?”  “Quake, what quake and when did it happen?” we asked.  After a bit of questioning we realized we were walking to the train and didn’t feel it because we were moving.  After all, it was only a small one.

01 Apr at 20:46 – Magnitude 8.2                                                                   Even though this quake was too far away to feel we are it because we were affected by the subsequent tsunami it generated and all the interest back home.  Our evening English class that is across a main road by the seashore was cancelled.  The tsunami didn’t cause much damage but it sure turned Valparaiso’s harbor brown.

25 Mar at 02:08 – Magnitude 4.8                                                                  How we noticed this one is beyond me other than to say Wooly’s finely tuned rear-end was the only reason.  Raeski didn’t even though she was standing next to me when it happened.  Nothing to really write home about except that I promised I would keep track of the ones in the local area or ones we felt.  Thankfully we aren’t in Iquique where they had a 6.7 and multiple 5.x and 6.x aftershocks.

09 Mar at 11:49 – Magnitude 5.1                                                                    Wooly felt it because he was sitting at the computer, and Raeski didn’t because she standing and moving around.  We have decided that Wooly has a very sensitive butt.

06 Mar at 01:37 – Magnitude 5.3                                                                           This one woke us up in the middle of the night.  The P-wave was quite violent for the size of the quake.  It rattled the cabinets and Wooly thought we may be in for quite a ride.  However the S-wave was very mild and lasted only about 5 – 10 seconds.  Wooly went right back to sleep, Raeski didn’t.

04 Mar at 08:17 – Magnitude 4.9                                                                          This was an aftershock and Wooly was once again at the computer on the patio.  Once again I scurried off the patio because sometimes the first quake is what is called a ‘foreshock’.  Kind of like foreplay but not nearly as nice.  The shaking only lasted about 10 seconds and was barely perceptible.

04 Mar at 07:51 – Magnitude 5.7                                                                         Yup, you bet Wooly felt this one.  He was on the patio 14 floors up when the P-wave hit.  Wooly, recognized instantly this was a quake and scurried off the patio before the S-wave hit one second later.  In Chile you don’t have much time to react so instant recognition goes a long way in being safe.  When the S-wave hit the building swayed mildly for about 20 seconds and the doors swung gently back and forth like a Hula dancer.

03 Mar at 17:46 – Magnitude 5.1 – Not felt

28 Feb at 13:31 – Magnitude 4.9                                                                        There are many bad places to be during an earthquake and Wooly thinks an elevator is one of them.  Yes, of all the crappy places to be, we were in an elevator when this one hit.  The elevator bounced back and forth in the shaft going up.  Fortunately this wasn’t a large quake.

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2 thoughts on “Earthquakes”

  1. Such an interesting list! We were in Queenstown, New Zealand in December 2011 when a smaller quake it Christchurch (about 500 km away). We felt things “off” for just a second; it was nothing compared to the huge quake that had hit Christchurch in February of that year. I can’t image how you feel with those you’ve felt — or didn’t feel, just knew they’d occurred!

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“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” Mark Twain

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