Chile Earthquake: U.S. and International Response [March 11, 2010]   [open pdf - 662KB]

"On February 27, 2010, an earthquake of magnitude 8.8 struck off the coast of central Chile. Centered 70 miles northeast of Chile's second-largest city, Concepción, at a depth of 22 miles, the earthquake was the second largest ever recorded in Chile and the fifth largest recorded worldwide since 1900. Over 100 aftershocks of magnitude 5.0 or greater were recorded following the initial earthquake. The earthquake and subsequent tsunami, which struck Chile's coast roughly 20 minutes after the earthquake and moved 2,000 feet onto shore in some places, devastated parts of the country. Although there are reports of varying casualty numbers, according to Chile's Ministry of the Interior, the official death toll is 507 (497 bodies have been identified; 10 remain unidentified). [...]. On February 27, 2010, President Barack Obama announced that the U.S. government would assist with earthquake rescue and recovery efforts, pending a request from the Chilean Government. On February 28, 2010, U.S. Ambassador to Chile Paul E. Simons issued a disaster declaration, and through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), authorized $50,000 for the initial implementation of an emergency response program. OFDA deployed a 16-member USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team. As of March 10, 2010, USAID/OFDA reports that it has provided $10.7 million for emergency response activities in Chile. The U.S. Department of Defense is also providing limited assistance. Policy issues of potential interest include levels of U.S. assistance to Chile, burdensharing and donor fatigue, tsunamis and early warning systems, and managing risk through building codes."

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CRS Report for Congress, R41112
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