Chile's Massive Quake

Relatives and firefighters search for people missing in Concepcion, Chile, on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2010, after an 8.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Chile early Saturday. (AP)

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Earthquake time again. This one — one of the very biggest in a century — striking Chile before dawn on Saturday, 8.8 on the Richter scale.

Two million Chileans reported forced from their homes. Seven hundred dead, and the number’s rising.

It’s a hard toll, though nothing like the 200,000 dead in Haiti. There is a tale of two countries here. One desperately poor. Another, Chile, seen headed for first-world status, with good building codes.

There is also a tale of two earthquakes. And a spate of quakes.

This hour, On Point: Chile’s big quake, and a seismologist’s take on what’s going on.


Joining us from Menlo Park, Calif., is Jian Lin, senior scientist in geology and geophysics at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He’s now at the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Center for Earthquake Research, in California, pouring over the data from Chile. He has studied the 1960 Chilean earthquake and the recent quake in Haiti.

Joining us from Santiago is Jorge Schaulson, former member of the Chilean Congress and Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1990-98 with the Party of Democracy. He is now a columnist and attorney in Santiago.

Also joining us from Santiago is Pascale Bonnefoy, Chile correspondent for the international news site Global Post. She lost a relative in the quake and has just returned home from the funeral.

Joining us from Miami is John Price, Managing Director for Business Intelligence at Kroll Associates, responsible for Latin America.

More links:

See the American Red Cross for information on the response to Chile’s earthquake.

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