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The devastating 2010 Chile earthquake and tsunami that destroyed 370,000 homes

Saturday, February 27th 2021, 6:00 am - Thousands of homes were destroyed and 525 people were killed.

Listen to The Weather Network's This Day in Weather History podcast on this topic, here.

On Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010, at 3:34 am, an 8.8-magnitude earthquake shook Chile for three minutes.

Vespucio Norte Highway after 2010 earthquake Collapsed Vespucio Norte Express Highway in Santiago. Courtesy of Esteban Maldonado/Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 2.0

The earthquake was felt strongly in six Chilean regions, in which 80 per cent (over 13 million people) of the population resides.

The earthquake triggered a tsunami that destroyed coastal towns across south-central Chile. The tsunami wave even impacted areas in California and Japan.

House uprooted to the streets of Pelluhue after the tsunami. House that was uprooted into the streets of Pelluhue after the tsunami. Courtesy of Wikipedia

The earthquake caused a blackout for 93 per cent of Chileans. President Michelle Bachelet declared a "state of catastrophe" as the army was deployed to assist affected areas.


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In Chile, 370,000 homes and many other buildings were damaged, as a fire broke out in the country's capital city Santiago.

Terremoto Chile 2010-Incendio fabrica plastico Fire at a plastics plant, Santiago, Chile. Courtesy of Plinio Correa/Wikipedia/CC BY 2.0

The earthquake also caused more than 1,000 landslides in the Maule region of Chile (a major wine-producing area).

The earthquake and the subsequent events killed a total of 525 people and about 9 per cent of the affected population lost their homes.

The Chilean quake cost between $4-7 billion.

To learn more about this 2010 Chilean earthquake, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by The Weather Network that features unique and informative stories from host Chris Mei.

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Thumbnail: Collapsed Alto Rio apartment in Concepcion. Courtesy of NOAA

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