Approximately 1,655 people were killed, 3,000 injured, 2,000,000 homeless,
and $550 million damage in southern Chile; tsunami caused 61 deaths, $75
million damage in Hawaii; 138 deaths and $50 million damage in Japan; 32
dead and missing in the Philippines; and $500,000 damage to the west coast
of the United States.
The Chilean earthquake produced a powerful tsunami that traveled at
the speed of about 200 miles per hour across the Pacific Ocean. The
tsunami led to 61 deaths in Hawaii, 138 deaths in Japan and 32 deaths
in Philippines.The star marks the location of the epicenter, and the
numbers on the contour lines are travel times in hours for the wave
front. Image by NOAA.
Severe damage from shaking occurred in the Valdivia-Puerto Montt area.
Most of the casualties and much of the damage was because of large tsunamis
which caused damage along the coast of Chile from Lebu to Puerto Aisen and
in many areas of the Pacific Ocean. Puerto Saavedra was completely destroyed by
waves which reached heights of 11.5 m (38 ft) and carried remains of houses
inland as much as 3 km (2 mi). Wave heights of 8 m (26 ft) caused much damage
Tsunamis caused 61 deaths and severe damage in Hawaii, mostly at Hilo,
where the runup height reached 10.6 m (35 ft). Waves as high as 5.5 m
(18 ft) struck northern Honshu about 1 day after the quake, where it
destroyed more than 1600 homes and left 185 people dead or missing.
Another 32 people were dead or missing in the Philippines after the
tsunami hit those islands. Damage also occurred on Easter Island, in
the Samoa Islands and in California. One to 1.5 m (3-5 ft) of subsidence
occurred along the Chilean coast from the south end of the Arauco Peninsula
to Quellon on Chiloe Island. As much of 3 m (10 ft) of uplift occurred on
Isla Guafo. Many landslides occurred in the Chilean Lake District from Lago
Villarica to Lago Todos los Santos.
On May 24, Volcan Puyehue erupted, sending ash and steam as high as
6,000 m. The eruption continued for several weeks.
This quake was preceded by 4 foreshocks bigger than magnitude 7.0,
including a magnitude 7.9 on May 21 that caused severe damage in the
Concepcion area. Many aftershocks occurred, with 5 of magnitude 7.0
or greater through Nov 1.
This is the largest earthquake of the 20th Century. The rupture zone
is estimated to be about 1000 km long, from Lebu to Puerto Aisen.