Earthquake, tsunami combo caused devastation in Pichilemu, Chile

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Pichilemu, Chile – Last Saturday, Chile was hit by a 8.8 earthquake. Many coastal towns were also hit by a tsunami, and Pichilemu was one of them. Its inhabitants were surprised by the giant waves that destroyed the most of the costanera and that reached the city square.

Pichilemu, that means in Mapudungun language small forest, is one of the most famous Chilean resort towns in the central zone of Chile. It is recurrently visited by surfers from all the world, because the Punta de Lobos beach is considered one of the best for surf practice worldwide.

Central Pichilemu was not severely damaged by the earthquake, but the tsunami caused significant destruction. The Fishermen Creek, located in front of the beach, was completely destroyed, and its machines are now unusable. Most of the Agustín Ross architecture that characterized the city, three of them being National Monuments of Chile, were damaged. The Agustín Ross Mirador, a famous location in front of the beach, located less than 200 meters from the Fisherman Creek, was completely destroyed. Its famous balustrades were washed away or thrown asunder. Many restaurants, kiosks and a circus were affected by the tsunami.

The rural parts of Pichilemu, like Ciruelos, Rodeillo and Espinillo feature houses constructed from adobe. Many were more than 100-years old, and were destroyed or are now uninhabitable.

The most powerful aftershock was produced almost 40 kilometers in front of the coast of Pichilemu, at the 03:10 local time (07:10 UTC) in March 2, with an intensity of 5.5 in the Richter scale, according to the USGS.

The Intendant of the O'Higgins Region, Juan Núñez, had a meeting with the Governor of the Cardenal Caro Province, Loreto Puebla, the Mayor of Pichilemu, Roberto Córdova, and naval and military authorities, juntas de vecinos representatives. They decided to leave the Carabineros police force to maintain the security of the city.

The Arturo Prat square was severely damaged by the earthquake and later by the tsunami. In the left picture, can be seen some kiosks, all of them were destroyed, as can be seen on the right picture. Image: Diego Grez.
The Arturo Prat square was severely damaged by the earthquake and later by the tsunami. In the left picture, can be seen some kiosks, all of them were destroyed, as can be seen on the right picture.
Image: Diego Grez.
A boat that was originally in front of the Fisherman Creek of Pichilemu, was thrown almost a block away by the powerful tsunami that hit Chile last Saturday. Image: Diego Grez.
A boat that was originally in front of the Fisherman Creek of Pichilemu, was thrown almost a block away by the powerful tsunami that hit Chile last Saturday.
Image: Diego Grez.
A fair was located in front of the beach, called Feria Internacional Artesanal, where Peruvian and Chilean craftsmans were selling their crafts. All of their premises were destroyed, and later looted by the people that were passing by the costanera. Image: Diego Grez.
A fair was located in front of the beach, called Feria Internacional Artesanal, where Peruvian and Chilean craftsman were selling their crafts. All of their premises were destroyed, and later looted by the people that were passing by the costanera.
Image: Diego Grez.
This is how looked the Agustín Ross 'Mirador' (balcony) in the past. Image: Diego Grez.The Mirador was completely destroyed by the action of both tsunami and earthquake. Image: Diego Grez.
The Famous Agustín Ross balcony (mirador), before and after the earthquake and tsunami.
Image: Diego Grez.
A strong aftershock was originated around Pichilemu, in March 5, 2010, 12:34:32 AM at epicenter (03:34:32 AM UTC). Image: USGS.
A strong aftershock was originated around Pichilemu, in March 5, 2010, at 12:34:32 AM at epicenter (03:34:32 AM UTC).
Image: USGS.



Sources

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Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
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