2 deaths - 100 injured - 15,000 homeless

Magnitude 7.7 - ANTOFAGASTA, CHILE

2007 November 14 15:40:53 UTC

Earthquake Details

Magnitude 7.7
  • Wednesday, November 14, 2007 at 15:40:53 UTC
  • Wednesday, November 14, 2007 at 12:40:53 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location 22.189S, 69.843W
Depth 60 km (37.3 miles)
Distances 40 km (25 miles) ESE of Tocopilla, Chile
100 km (60 miles) WNW of
Calama, Chile
170 km (105 miles) NNE of
Antofagasta, Chile
1245 km (780 miles) N of
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 8.6 km (5.3 miles); depth +/- 12.3 km (7.6 miles)
Parameters Nst=192, Nph=192, Dmin=106.7 km, Rmss=1.09 sec, Gp= 76,
M-type=moment magnitude (Mw), Version=6
Event ID us2007jsat

EARTHQUAKE on 15/11/2007 at 15:05 (UTC)
ANTOFAGASTA, CHILE                     32 km W  Campamento esme


Data provided by: NEIC PTWC                                        

Latitude    =  22.88 S
Longitude   =  70.12 W
Origin Time =  15:05:58.6 (UTC)
Depth       =  33 Km
RMS         =   1.41 sec
Gap         =  74 degrees
95% confidence ellipse: - Semi major = 18.3 Km

                        - Semi minor = 12.3 Km
                        - Azimuth of major axis =  68 degrees

Number of data used = 107

Preliminary location computed on Thu Nov 15 15:52:19 2007 (UTC)
Done by Gilles Mazet-Roux

Comments :

Message number: 953

All magnitudes estimations :
M 6.8 (NEIC)  Mw6.8 (PTWC)                             

P.S.: For additional information, please contact EMSC at:
             - Email: mazet[at]
             - Web  : (maps available)
             - Fax  : 33 1 69 26 70 00

7.7-Magnitude Tremor Causes Injuries, Damages Homes

POSTED: 10:13 am CST November 14, 2007

Authorities in Chile are now reporting at least two deaths from an earthquake that damaged hundreds of homes Wednesday

More than 100 others were hurt in the quake, which terrified people for hundreds of miles.

About 10 road workers were trapped near Tocopilla when a section of a tunnel they were repairing collapsed, but all were in good condition and rescuers were working to free them, according to the government's emergency bureau.

The head of the government's emergency bureau said the quake was felt across nearly 1,300 miles, from Chile's northern border with Peru to the capital, Santiago.

A hotel spokeswoman about 60 miles away from the quake's center said the quake was "horribly strong."

The U.S. Geological Survey reported that the 7.7-magnitude quake struck at 10:41 a.m. EST, 780 miles north of Santiago. The quake happened 37.3 miles underground, deep enough that it lessened its destructiveness, and was followed by several aftershocks.

Authorities in a town 25 miles from the epicenter said two women were killed when their houses collapsed.

In a port city more than 100 miles south of the epicenter, police said dozens have been hurt.

Schools, hospitals and other buildings were evacuated in several cities.

At least two dead in Chile earthquake

SANTIAGO, November 15 (RIA Novosti) - At least two people have been killed and more than 100 injured in a major earthquake in north Chile.

The quake, measuring 7.7 on the Richter scale, hit at 12:43 p.m. local time (15:43 p.m. GMT) on Wednesday, and was centered on Chile's Atacama desert, some 100km (62 miles) north-west of the town of Calama. The area is relatively thinly populated.

Both of the deaths happened in the city of Tocopilla, where many people were also left homeless after the quake destroyed some 100 houses.

Chile's government said it was flying in emergency shelters to the city.

The earthquake, which was so powerful it was felt by people on the other side of the continent, caused massive damage to thousands of homes, as well as cutting off roads and knocking out electricity across northern Chile.

However, the death toll and the damage to property would undoubtedly have been much higher had the earthquake occurred in a more densely-populated area and had it not struck deep underground.

In August, some 500 people perished when an 8.0 magnitude earthquake hit an area near Lima, the capital of neighboring Peru.

A magnitude-7.7 earthquake has struck northern Chile, the US Geological Survey (USGS) has said.

There are no reports of any deaths from the powerful quake, which was measured in Tocopilla, Antofagasta region, at 12:40 local time (15:40 GMT).

But the USGS warned that the quake may have caused "substantial damage and casualties" due to its location and size.

Carmen Fernandez, director of Chile's national emergency office, told the AFP news agency: "It is a major quake."

The 60km deep earthquake, which lasted about 40 seconds, was felt in the capital Santiago more than 1,000km to the south, as well as neighbouring Peru and Bolivia.

Television pictures showed panicked residents fleeing into the streets, but the worst effects of the quake appear to be cuts to electricity supplies and blocked roads.

Two hours after the initial earthquake, the USGS reported two further quakes in quick succession in the same location, measured at magnitudes of 5.1 and 5.7 respectively.

Earthquakes are relatively commonplace in Chile. The world's strongest-ever recorded quake was felt in the South American country in 1960, with the magnitude-9.5 earthquake killing almost 6,000

15,000 Homeless in Chile Quake


TOCOPILLA, Chile (AP) Strong aftershocks from a powerful earthquake hit northern Chile on Thursday as the government erected a working military hospital and promised hundreds of other portable dwellings for 15,000 left homeless by the quake.

Government and army workers scrambled to distribute tons of food, water and medicine after the 7.7 magnitude quake struck near the desert village of Quillagua in the foothills of the Andes on Wednesday, killing at least two people and injuring more than 150.

Major aftershocks shook the region Thursday, including one of magnitude 6.2 and another of magnitude 6.8, the U.S. Geological Survey said. There were no immediate reports of further damage or injuries.

The earthquake destroyed or damaged 4,000 houses and the local hospital, blocking roads, crushing cars and knocking out power across northern Chile, officials said.

This port city of 27,000 and the nearby mining town of Maria Elena were the hardest hit, and presidential spokesman Ricardo Lagos Weber said both would be declared disaster areas to expedite aid delivery.

Four Cabinet ministers were in the area coordinating recovery and aid efforts. President Michelle Bachelet also flew there Thursday morning.

Housing Minister Patricia Poblete said many structures cannot be saved, and firefighters and other workers began demolishing the most severely damaged homes. Dr. Cristian Castillo told The Associated Press "80 percent of our hospital is useless."

Two women were killed in Tocopilla, 25 miles from the epicenter, when their houses collapsed, authorities said. Hospital director Juan Urrutia said at least 117 people were treated there for injuries or panic.

In tiny Quillagua, with a population of around 100, one person suffered minor injuries and 15 houses were damaged.

Electricity was restored in large areas of Tocopilla. Army trucks were distributing water to residents as supply was still cut off in most of the city.

In Maria Elena, 1,200 homes were damaged or 70 percent of the city's total, authorities said. Residents were still without running water and electricity late Wednesday.

Lagos Weber said about 170 people were taken to hospitals across the region, but that many of the injuries were not serious. About 10 road workers who had been trapped near Tocopilla when a section of a tunnel they were repairing collapsed were all rescued in good condition Thursday.

Hundreds of residents slept in cars or tents in front of their houses. Schools were being used as shelters for those left homeless by the quake.

But officials said many are refusing to go to shelters, fearing their homes will be looted if left unattended.

"We slept in the car, because we have to care for whatever the quake didn't destroy," resident Luis Porcel told the AP.

Chile's largest copper mines are in the quake area, and production was halted as electric power was cut for several hours Wednesday before being restored. The nation is the world's largest copper producer.

At a badly damaged restaurant Wednesday night, a dozen men drank beer by candlelight.

"What else can I do? I lost everything. So I'll just have a few drinks," said Samuel Araya, a 57-year-old miner in this town of 7,000 people.

Blanca Pizarro said she took refuge under her kitchen table when the quake struck and seconds later the roof collapsed on the table. "I'm alive by a miracle," she said.

The quake struck around midday Wednesday 780 miles north of the capital, Santiago, and was followed by several aftershocks, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

It was so strong it shook Santiago and was felt on the other side of the continent in Sao Paulo, Brazil 1,400 miles to the east.

"It was incredible. I thought my last day had come when I saw the mountain shaking under a large cloud of dust," said Maria Ines Palete, a resident of Quillagua.

The quake occurred in one of the most seismically active regions in the world, where the Nazca tectonic plate is shoving itself beneath the South American plate.

A 1939 quake in Chile killed 28,000 people and in 1960, a magnitude-9.5 quake the strongest recorded in the 20th century killed 5,700 people. On June 13, 2005, a magnitude-7.8 quake near Tarapaca in northern Chile killed 11 people and left thousands homeless.