Earthquake in Chile: A Study of Organizational Response

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Disaster Research Center
On Sunday, March 28, 1965 at 1233 p.m., Chile was jarred by a strong earthquake, just four years and ten months after the May 1960 quake which took 5,700 lives in this same country. The epicenter of the earthquake was about 127 miles northwest of Santiago, the country’s capital. The earthquake registerd 7.5 on the Richter scale and 9.0 on the Mercali Scale. It lasted for one full minute across an area of 130, 000 square miles and for 2 hours it set seismographs jumping as far away as central Italy, some 7,500 miles to the east. For Chile, which lies entirely inside the Pacific earthquake belt, was the fourth major earthquake in this century. (Chile experiences 15 percent of all earthquakes.) There was no permanent organization set up to deal with the disaster. Every quake is unique, say Chilean officials, and therefore must be dealt with differently. But previous experience with the aftermath of earthquakes proved an asset in dealing with this particular event. In less than an hour after the earthquake’s impact, the country was being mobilized to deal with the disaster and to determine the extent of the damage.
earthquake, chile, organizational response