On Monday, July 8th, 289 years ago, a major earthquake and tsunami hit much of the Valparaíso Region. In order to develop memory about this disaster, CIGIDEN, Proyecta Memoria, ONEMI, CYCLO and USM, will jointly perform several activities in both cities.
Thanks to historical chronicles, geological evidence of the tsunami, numerical modelling and hard scientific work, we now know that the last mega-earthquake in Central Chile occurred 289 years ago. We are talking about the 1730 earthquake that hit the coasts of Central Chile in the early hours of July 8th, with a magnitude of 9.1 and 9.3.
For this seismic event to be remembered in Chile, four organizations – ONEMI, CYCLO, USM and Proyecta Memoria – jointly performed several activities, scientific meetings, citizen fairs and urban interventions, to discuss this issue from the perspective of science and memory, and the need to evaluate the use of vertical evacuation in coastal areas at risk of tsunamis.
The commemoration of the 1730 earthquake begins with simultaneous lectures (9:00 AM) on earthquakes and tsunamis in 17 schools in Valparaíso and Viña del Mar, located under reference level 30 (cota 30). A commemorative act will be held at 11:00 am., a La Matriz Church in Valparaíso. The place is a benchmark of the tsunami that took place in Colonial Chile, since historical records show that the flood caused by the 1730 tsunami probably reached the religious institution.
A scientific-educational fair -with stands of CIGIDEN, ONEMI and SHOA- and a scientific lecture by Marcos Cisternas, CYCLO and PUCV scientist, will be held in front of the La Matriz Church. Cisternas will talk about the latest research on the 1730 earthquake. In turn, Fundación Proyecta Memoria will conduct several urban interventions to develop memory about this seismic event in the region.
In this context, CIGIDEN, Proyecta Memoria and Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María will host a citizen science panel named “Vertical evacuation and tsunami in the Valparaíso Region”. The meeting, -which will be held at 17.00 hours, at the Assembly Hall located in Building T of USM- will begin with a lecture by Jorge León – USM professor and CIGIDEN researcher-, who will present the findings of the latest scientific research -published in policy papers- on vertical evacuation. Dissemination efforts will be especially focused on research in Viña del Mar and Valparaiso.
Bernardita Paul, national responsible for Disaster Risk Reduction and Reconstruction of MINVU; Jeannette González, vice president of the Residents Communal Union of Viña del Mar; Jorge Brito, congressman for the Valparaíso Region and member of the political party Democratic Revolution; Cristóbal Mena, national deputy director of ONEMI and Luis Álvarez, Director of the Institute of Geography of the Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, will participate in the panel. CIGIDEN and USM researcher Mr. Patricio Catalán will moderate the discussion. This activity is free of charge but it requires prior registration.