The Force and Effects of the 1960 Valdivia Earthquake

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On the 22nd of May 1960, the world’s largest earthquake which was documented occurred very close to Valdivia, Chile. The earthquake struck with a force of 9.5 magnitude. The earthquake pushed up a small area of the South Pacific Ocean, creating a massive tsunami travelling at 200 miles per hour across the ocean causing major damage to other countries and islands like Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines as well as the entire West Coast of the United States.
Tectonic Plates
Chile lies almost on a plate boundary of the Nazca plate and the South American plate which is known to be continuously subducting. Deep under the ocean, where the Nazca Plate was subducting under the South American Plate, the edge of the plate was also being dragged down with the Nazca Plate. Then over time when the pressure between the plates reached a maximum, the edge of the plate flicked upwards, causing a massive earthquake and a fault line that extended over a 900-1000 kilometer stretch of the Nazca Plate. The earthquake was caused by a reverse fault, when the faults move together and the land moves upwards. The place where the earthquake occurred was in the Ring of Fire, a circular area in the Pacific Ocean where many earthquakes and volcanic eruptions constantly occur.
Prediction & Evacuation Seismologists have not found out a working method that can predict when the next earthquake will occur and how strong it will be. On the other hand, there is a theory which could predict a possible

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