Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/3/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (

South American nation very good at adhering to strict regulations

Miracles do happen. Only six perished in a massive earthquake in northern Chile following an immense 8.2 earthquake and tsunami. Four of the deaths were attributed to heart attacks and only two were crushed by debris. The reason for this amazingly low fatality county is being credited to adherence on the part of Chile to strict building codes.

While there was major structural damage in the quakes, it's seen as a minor trade-off where many lives were spared.

While there was major structural damage in the quakes, it's seen as a minor trade-off where many lives were spared.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

4/3/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: Earthquake, tsunami, Chile, building codes

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "They're a seismically active region of the world and they are very good at implementing their building codes similar to California," John Bellini, a Denver-based geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey says.

"Because of that, you would see less damage than in other places that have poorer building codes . that's probably one of the reasons there haven't been as many casualties as there could have been from a magnitude earthquake of this size."

Come light a candle for those who perished in the Fort Hood tragedy --

There was major structural damage in the quakes, which is seen as a minor trade-off where many lives were spared. More than 2,500 homes sustained serious structural damage in the region around the northern port city of Iquique. Most of the homes were built with poor workmanship through government subsidies.

A 7.6-magnitude aftershock struck the region late Wednesday. There was no immediate word on damage or injuries.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, who toured the region, praised local authorities for responding in an "exemplary manner" to the disaster.

"This is a great example to all of us that when we work together in an adequate manner and we when we follow the plans that have been established in the region, we work well," Bachelet said.

One of the most earthquake-prone regions in the world, Chile sits on an arc of volcanoes and fault lines circling the Pacific Ocean known as the "Ring of Fire," according to Mark Simons, a geophysicist at Caltech in Pasadena, California. Since 1973, Chile has had more than a dozen quakes of magnitude-7.0 and above.

According to Simons, this week's quake occurred as the fault line along Chile's coast has constantly shifted in the last 140 years. In recent weeks, this area has seen a cluster of activity -- something like 50 to 100 smaller quakes. A 6.7- and a 6.1-magnitude quake struck last month.

"People are more familiar with them," Bellini says. "They, in general, know what to do as part of their daily lives, plus the building codes are fairly well-enforced in Chile. It's in their culture."

The importance of strict building codes was underscored when Port-au-Prince, Haiti, was hit by a magnitude-7.0 earthquake in 2010 that leveled 70 percent of the Haitian capital's structures and killed at least 230,000 people.

"That's actually a perfect example of the differences in building codes and enforcement in two different regions," Bellini said. "Any place that has a magnitude 7 or an 8 is going to have some kind of damage. However, the building codes play a large part in the damage and destruction that is seen, as well as the casualty level. Population density plays an important part as well -- but the building codes are really what can save lives in areas that have large earthquakes."


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Americas

The unbelievable thing 2,000 Cuban immigrants did at the Costa-Rican Nicaragua border Watch

Image of Long lines of trucks and buses have piled on both sides of the border as migrants have refused to let traffic pass, authorities say.


In what threatens all transportation and trade to Central America, 2,000 Cuban immigrants have thrown themselves against the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Buses and trucks are halted on both side of the border. The Cuban migrants have taken a stand ... continue reading

See this Nazi? Why did the CIA protect 'The Butcher of Lyon' after WWII? And why did the Vatican help? Watch

Image of Klaus Barbie.


The U.S. government has a poor record of managing people that it protects and builds up. A new case came to light recently as the Daily Mirror and Daily Mail featured the story of Klaus Barbie, the Nazi who killed hundreds of people during the war, only to enjoy CIA ... continue reading

Central American refugees streaming in to U.S. quickly reaching crisis levels Watch

Image of Far more worrisome is the fact that unescorted immigrant children, those who travel with other children without adult supervision are steadily increasing.


While immigration remains a very hot button topic in the 2016 presidential debates, the number of refugees illegally crossing into the United States from Mexico - and further south, is quickly reaching crisis levels. The number of illegal refugee families ... continue reading

The heartbreaking true story of a Mexican human trafficking survivor who was raped 43,000 times since 12-years-old Watch

Image of Karla Jacinto survived severe sexual, physical and psychological abuse at the hands of her pimp (CNN).


Twenty-three-year-old Karla Jacinto has stepped forward to share her horrifying survival story after suffering sexual abuse for seven years, then enduring four years as a prostitute and victim of human trafficking in Mexico. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Her tale ... continue reading

Ancient Mayan sinkhole believed to be former altar for human, animal sacrifice Watch

Image of Scuba instructor Troy Iloski is the man behind the photos. Iloski travelled with local tour guides Antonio Molina Piquard, Anna Nicolaus and Bernardo Miranda to capture these stunning pictures.


Spectacular color photographs of an ancient Mayan sinkhole in Quintana Roo, Mexico have captivated a global audience. The beauty holds a dark and terrifying secret, as many believe the sinkhole to be an ancient sacrificial Mayan site - for human and animal ... continue reading

Guatemala's corruption reaches all-time high: Can a comedian save them? Watch

Image of


The Guatemalan government has come under fire yet again with several counts of corruption. In an attempt to combat the increasingly untrustworthy government, comedian and former actor Jimmy Morales quickly went from zero to hero in a landslide victory with 70 percent ... continue reading

22 people arrested, 12 tons of marijuana seized in 'super tunnel' sting in San Diego Watch

Image of The raid was the culmination of a six-month undercover investigation. The operation was triggered after an undercover agent with the U.S. Tunnel Task Force met with two suspected traffickers at a San Diego restaurant.


A sophisticated super tunnel in San Diego, California has been busted by federal agents as part of a drug sting. Twenty-two people have been arrested - and 12 tons of marijuana was seized in the raid. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A nondescript cinder-block ... continue reading

Discovered Bahamian fossils give astonishing 'unparalleled snapshot' into Ice Age life in Caribbean Watch

Image of Isolated islands make it far easier to determine what factors contributed to a species' development -- or extinction, in the same manner in which Charles Darwin established his theories at the Galapagos Islands.


New fossils discovered in the Bahamas give "us an unparalleled snapshot at what the Ice Age life would have been like on a Caribbean isle," lead author David Steadman, curator of ornithology at the Florida Museum of Natural History says. It's believed that ... continue reading

Justin Trudeau swept to victory as Liberals ride elections in Canada Watch

Image of Leading the Liberal party to a sweeping victory on many sides, Justin Trudeau will be Canada's new prime minister.


Leading the Liberal party to a sweeping victory on many sides, Justin Trudeau will be Canada's new prime minister. Conservative Stephen Harper, making his fourth consecutive mandate, will step down as party leader. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading

Amazing 400-year-old church re-emerges from Mexican reservoir Watch

Image of The Temple of Santiago (AP).


The 400-year-old Temple of Santiago, also called the Temple of Quechula, has reemerged from Mexico's Nezahualcoyotl reservoir. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The colonial-era church became visible following a drought that decreased the water level of the ... continue reading

All Americas News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • CRYBABY KILLER: Islamist State fighter breaks down in tears after ...
  • St. Andrew: Saint of the Day for Monday, November 30, 2015
  • GRAPHIC IMAGES: Islamic extremist shown being BLOWN UP while making ...
  • MIRACLES DO HAPPEN: Days-old baby girl buried alive pulled to safety ...
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Monday, November 30, 2015

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Romans 10:9-18
9 that if you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and if you ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5
2 day discourses of it to day, night to night hands on the ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 4:18-22
18 As he was walking by the Lake of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 30th, 2015 Image

St. Andrew
November 30: Andrew, like his brother Simon Peter, was a ... Read More