Glimpse of Chile quake’s environmental toll


The most painful losses from last month’s 8.8-magnitude earthquake centered off the Chilean coast—one of the five biggest quakes in recorded history—were the 700 people killed, the 100,000 homes destroyed or severely damaged and the displacement of some two million people. The damage came not only from the fierce tremors, which mainly affected central Chile, but also by a tsunami that pounded coastal towns and villages with waves at least 10 meters high. But the earthquake also had diverse environmental impacts—contaminants or debris from damaged factories, sewage systems, destroyed buildings and other sources caused pollution on land as well as in water bodies. “A complete, in-depth evaluation of all the eco-impacts still has not been done,” says Guillermo Espinoza... [Log in to read more]

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