Posted by: Ali | February 28, 2010


Adding to the chaos that has been my week, yesterday morning there was a major earthquake, 8.8 on the Richter scale, in Chile, and as a result there was a tsunami warning for basically the entire Pacific Ocean.  Being a parent or a concerned relative, I can understand how this sounds  very scary.

Let me assure you however that myself and all of the volunteers are quite safe.  The earthquake happened at around 3:30 am and we didn’t feel a thing in Lima (and yes, the volunteers were awake at this time).

Earthquake Location

As you can see, the earthquake itself happened very very far south of Peru, so even if an aftershock were to occur we still wouldn’t be affected.

There was also a tsunami warning for the coast of Peru from 4am – 7am, however the danger has passed.

Tsunami Path

As you can see, the danger for Peru was only right after the earthquake, and as time moves on it would have been possible to get a tsunami in Japan or Vancouver or New Zealand (wouldn’t that be a great addition to the Olympics?).

I am told that there is also something called the “Cascade Effect” – an effect where a major earthquake triggers many nearby earthquakes located on the same fault line.  Again, although Peru is on the same fault line, we are too far away for us to be affected by this.

Cascade Effect

This is a map published by the US Geological Survey showing the location of all the earthquakes that have happened in the past week.  Older earthquakes are yellow, and ones that happened today are in blue.  Look at how close they are to each other – they are all in the vicinity of the city of Santiago, which is well down the coast from Peru.


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