A global view of vertical ground displacements as a function of time from the M 8.8 Chile Earthquake of February 27, 2010.
The scale at the bottom shows 1 cm of displacement. (The Earth's surface moved up and down about 1 cm in this event, but it was too slow to be felt.) The closest shown station here is in Argentina, and the most distant one is in Mongolia. A 6.9 aftershock is visible for comparative scale near 90 minutes after the mainshock. (This "small" event is about equal in energy to the recent earthquake in Haiti.) The Chile event was on the order of 1,000 times as energetic as the Haiti event, yet caused something like 0.5% as many fatalities. The difference in fatalities is due to direct hit of the shallow Haiti earthquake on a city and, very significantly, to the much more advanced building practices and codes in Chile. The data was retrieved from the IRIS Data Management Center by requesting all IRIS/USGS and IRIS/IDA 1 Hz vertical channels (92 stations) for six hours after the mainshock.
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