Sunday, February 28, 2010

Chile Earthquake 2010 年智利大地震

Chile was hit by earthquake on 27-2-2010. The 2nd earthquake to hit Latin America. A massive earthquake and a series of aftershocks have hit Chile. The quake, with a magnitude of 8.8, caused blackouts in parts of the capital, Santiago. Buildings have been reduced to rubble - and phone lines have been brought down. Seismologists say the tremor has caused a tsunami - with three-metre-high waves heading towards Chile's coast. The most devastating earthquake in the country's history struck in 1960 - killing more than 1600 people

Where is Chile?
Where is Chile? I know it is in South America, but we Asian know too little about her. The closest I know is the red wine I bought sometime from Chile. Other than that it is far away.

Chile, officially the Republic of Chile (República de Chile), is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far south. With Ecuador, it is one of two countries in South America which do not border Brazil. The Pacific coastline of Chile is 6,435 kilometres. Chilean territory includes the Pacific islands of Juan Fernández, Salas y Gómez, Desventuradas and Easter Island. Chile also claims about 1,250,000 square kilometres (480,000 sq mi) of Antarctica, although all claims are suspended under the Antarctic Treaty.

A long and narrow coastal Southern Cone country on the west side of the Andes Mountains, Chile stretches over 4,630 kilometres (2,880 mi) north to south, but only 430 kilometres (265 mi) at its widest point east to west. This encompasses a remarkable variety of landscapes. It contains 756,950 square kilometres (292,260 sq mi) of land area. It is the longest country in the world.

Chile is divided into 15 regions, each headed by an intendant appointed by the president. The regions are further divided into provinces, with provincial governors also appointed by the president. Finally each province is divided into communes which are administered by municipalities, each with its own mayor and council elected for four year terms. Each region is designated by a name and a Roman numeral, assigned from north to south. The only exception is the Santiago Metropolitan Region which is designated RM (Región Metropolitana). Two new regions were created in 2006 and became operative in October 2007; Los Ríos in the south (Region XIV), and Arica y Parinacota in the north (Region XV). The numbering scheme skipped Region XIII.

Chile(President) - 15 Regions(Intendant) - Provinces(Governors) - Municipalities(mayor) - Communes

In Chile, a municipality (municipalidad) is a legal entity which administers one or more communes (comuna) which are the third-level division of the country. The first division are regions which a next divided into provinces (provincia). These provinces are next divided into comunas which are assigned to a municipality for administration. In most cases the municipality and the comuna have the same name, but the constitution permits a single municipality to be responsible for more than one commune.

The 15 Regions are:-

1. Región de Arica y Parinacota
2. Región de Tarapacá
3. Región de Antofagasta
4. Región de Atacama
5. Región de Coquimbo
6. Región de Valparaíso(note: San Antonio affected by Chile Earthquake 2010)
7. Región del Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins
8. Región del Maule(note: Region hit by Chile earthquake 2010 e.g.Curanipe)
9. Región del Biobío(note: also affected by earthquake 2010 e.g. Talcahuano,Lota, Cañete,Chiguayante & Arauco)
10.Región de la Araucanía
11.Región de Los Ríos
12.Región de Los Lagos
13.Región Aisén del General Carlos Ibáñez del Campo
14.Región de Magallanes y de la Antártica Chilena
15.Región Metropolitana de Santiago

Chile owned two notable Pacific possessions-the Juan Fernandez Islands and the famous Easter Island, both of which are administered as national parks. The Juan Fernandez islands are located about 670 km off the Chilean coast, while Easter Island is situated 3700 km distant.The Juan Fernández Islands are a sparsely inhabited island group reliant on tourism and fishing in the South Pacific Ocean. The islands are mainly known for having been the home to the sailor Alexander Selkirk for four years, which may have inspired the novel Robinson Crusoe. Easter Island is the world's most isolated inhabited island. It is also one of the most mystifying places on Earth, possessing a history that remains as unclear as it is evocative. The moai, huge figures carved of volcanic rock, hundreds of these sculpted monoliths dot the landscape, some in imposing rows, others toppled, broken, and scarred by violence. Note: These islands may be hit by Tsunami after the Chile earthquake on 27-2-2010.

Brief History
Prior to arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, northern Chile was under Inca rule while the indigenous Araucanians inhabited central and southern Chile. Although Chile declared independence in 1810, decisive victory over the Spanish was not achieved until 1818. In the War of the Pacific (1879–83), Chile defeated Peru and Bolivia and won its present northern regions. It was not until the 1880s that the Araucanians were completely subjugated. Although relatively free of the coups and arbitrary governments that blighted South America, Chile endured the 17-year military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973–1990) that left more than 3,000 people, mostly leftists and socialist sympathizers, dead or disappeared.

New President elected
By the way Chile is having a new President from the election took place on January 17, 2010. The President-elect of Chile is Dr. Miguel Juan Sebastián Piñera Echenique, who is to take office on Thursday March 11, 2010. He will be taking over from outgoing President Verónica Michelle Bachelet Jeria, the first woman President of Chile. Sebastián Piñera was a Harvard trained economic professor. Piñera is also Chile's first billionaire to be elected. The new President-elect has voiced a desire for a government of national unity, and promises to move his coalition to the center, away from the political polarization that has plagued Chilean politics and society since the coup d'état of 1973. Piñera will also inheret a $16 billions USD surplus attained by Chile while copper prices were high.

On January 28, Piñera renounced his political affiliation to National Renewal, becoming an independent. Within the party bylaws, it is stipulated that members who are elected to the presidency must renounce their association in order to govern the country fairly, foremost with the interest of the people, not with the interest of a political party or particular political philosophy. This is a progressive law, when after elected, the elected President to become an independent from political association and political party affiliation, avoid politicking and committed totally to the service of people and nation.

High respectable name in international rankings
Currently, Chile is one of South America's most stable and prosperous nations. It rank high in international ranking. It rank 25th out of 180 in Corruption Perception Index(by Transparency International , which is remarkable in Latin America. Press freedom index(by Reporters without border) with ranking 39th out of 175. Democracy index(by Economist),32th out of 167. Global Competitiveness(by World Economic Forum) rank 30th out of 133. What a remarkable country.....

In Chile there is no restriction on religion. Nearly 70 percent of the population which is above 14 years of age are identified as Roman Catholic and nearly 15 percent as evangelical.
Spanish is the official language and English is widely understood in large cities. Various indigenous languages are spoken in Chile like Mapudungun, Quechua and Rapa Nui.

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Chile Literature

Chileans call their country país de poetas—country of poets. Gabriela Mistral was the first Chilean to win a Nobel Prize for Literature (1945). Chile's most famous poet, however, is Pablo Neruda, who also won the Nobel Prize for Literature (1971) and is world-renowned for his extensive library of works on romance, nature, and politics. His three highly individualistic homes, located in Isla Negra, Santiago and Valparaíso are popular tourist destinations.

Among the list of other Chilean poets are Carlos Pezoa Véliz, Vicente Huidobro, Gonzalo Rojas, and Nicanor Parra. Novelist José Donoso's novel The Obscene Bird of the Night is considered by critic Harold Bloom to be one of the cononical works of Twentieth Century Western literature. Another internationally recognized Chilean novelist is Roberto Bolaño whose translations into English have had an excellent reception from the critics

Chile produces some excellent wines, competing with France, California, Australia and New Zealand for world markets. Notable are the Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere in red, along with whites from the Casablanca valley.

Chile Earthquake

The 2010 Chile earthquake occurred off the coast of the Maule Region(馬烏萊大區)of Chile on February 27, 2010, at 03:34 local time (06:34 UTC), rating a magnitude of 8.8 on the moment magnitude scale and lasting for about three minutes. The epicenter of the earthquake was offshore from the Maule Region, approximately 8 km (5.0 miles) west of Curanipe and 115 km north-northeast of Chile's second largest city, Concepción. The cities experiencing the strongest shaking—VIII (Destructive) on the Mercalli intensity scale—were Talcahuano, Arauco, Lota, Chiguayante, Cañete, and San Antonio. The earthquake was felt in the capital Santiago at Mercalli intensity scale VII (Very Strong). Tremors were felt in many Argentine cities, including Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Mendoza and La Rioja. Tremors were felt as far north as the city of Ica in southern Peru. Tsunami warnings were issued in 53 countries, and a tsunami was recorded, with amplitude of up to 2.6 m (8 ft 6 in) high, in the sea at Valparaíso, Chile. President Michelle Bachelet declared a "state of catastrophe". She also confirmed the deaths of at least 708 people.

Donation to Chile

Here are some of the most established organizations that are actively deploying aid in Chile to help jump start the relief efforts:

1. American Red Cross: The American Red Cross has already pledged funds to help Chile recover. Since its founding in 1881, the American Red Cross has been one of the most trusted emergency
response organization.

2. Direct Relief International: Direct Relief is already on the ground providing medical assistance.

3. Habitat for Humanity: Habitat for Humanity Chile is developing shelter solutions for low-income families affected by the earthquake.

How to contact friends and families in Chile

On Twitter there is also a number circulating for emergency telephones in Chile: 568 1290 / 568 1295

The Red Cross does have a presence in Chile and thier contact numbers and addresses are available to the public. Please be patient, they are dealing with a high volume of work at this time.

Google has set up a Person Finder for the people of Chile, where you can either input information of someone you are looking for, or information about yourself or someone you know you may be looking for you, family or friends.

Twitter can also be a good source of information. The Chilean Red Cross has a Twitter account you can follow, or try searching Twitter with the hashtag #Chile as many others are also searching for information.

There is also a Chile Earthquake Facebook page for people to try and make contact.

Latest news

1. National Geographic Daily News,
2. 2010 Chile earthquake,
3. American Red Cross Disaster online newsroom,
4. RT, youtube

Chile is a beautiful country. The return to democracy and their achievement in economy, freedom of press, integrity and anti-corruption is admirable, and as a Latin country it is more respectable. Chile will overcome from the 2010 Earthquake, like in the past, she will stand up tall again with span of short time. She is able..... Chile is able as proven from the past, Chile will overcome......

Further reference articles/websites:

1.CIA - The World Factbook -- Chile,
2. Chile,
3. Welcome to Chile,
4. List of earthquakes in Chile,
5. 2010 Chile earthquake2010年智利大地震,
6. 1960 Valdivia earthquake,

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