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2007 Antofagasta earthquake
Date November 14, 2007 (2007-11-14)
Magnitude 7.7 Mw[1]
Depth 60.0 km[1]
Epicenter location Quillagua, Tocopilla
regions affected
Max. intensity VIII - Destructive
Casualties 2 killed
150 injured[2]

The 2007 Antofagasta earthquake was an earthquake registered on November 14, 2007 at 15:40:53 UTC (12:40:53 local time). Its epicenter was located between the localities of Quillagua and Tocopilla, affecting the Tarapacá and the Antofagasta regions in northern Chile. The earthquake had a moment magnitude of 7.7[1][3] and lasted about 50 seconds.[4] Seventeen aftershocks of magnitude greater than 5.0, including one of magnitude 6.8 and two others of magnitude 6 or higher, have been recorded.[5] The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami warning, stating a tsunami had been generated; after one hour, this warning was cancelled.[6][7]

The earthquake was felt from Santiago, 1,245 km south from the epicenter, to La Paz, about 700 km north-northeast.[8]


Tectonic summary

The USGS reported that the earthquake resulted from the release of stresses generated by the subduction of the oceanic Nazca plate beneath the South American Plate. In this region, known as the Peru-Chile subduction zone, the Nazca Plate thrusts beneath South America at a rate of approximately 79 mm/year in an east-north-east direction. This earthquake indicates subduction-related thrusting, likely on the interface between these two plates.

This earthquake occurred near (and within) the southern end of the rupture area of the great magnitude 8.8 earthquake of 1877, which produced a destructive tsunami and whose source region has since the late 1970’s been recognized as a potentially dangerous seismic gap. In 1995, a magnitude 8.0 earthquake occurred in the same subduction zone approximately 200 km further south of the November 14th event.[9]

Damage and casualties

Radisson Hotel cornice fallen over two cars, Antofagasta.

At least two deaths have been attributed to this earthquake, one being an 88-year old woman crushed under a collapsing wall at Tocopilla,[8] the other being a 54-year old woman, whose exact cause of death remains unknown. At least 150 were injured.[2][10] There were also reports of widespread power outages in the region, including the cities of Antofagasta, Calama and Arica. The earthquake disrupted copper mining in the region; because Chile is the world's top supplier of copper, the earthquake caused prices of the metal to jump by more than 6%. Tin prices also rose 4% to reach a record high.[11] There were reports of several dozens of road workers trapped inside a collapsed highway tunnel.[12]

4,000 homes were destroyed by the shaking and up to 15,000 people were displaced. In Tocopilla alone, 1,200 homes were demolished, representing 30% of all standing structures.[2]

See also


External links



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