Safety measures protect Chileans in active earthquake region

Tectonic plates may continue to shift, says University of Alberta geophysicist Martyn Unsworth.

Suzette Chan - 03 April 2014

(Edmonton) Edmonton's CTV local news asked University of Alberta geophysicist Martyn Unsworth to comment on Tuesday's earthquake in Chile.

Unsworth, a professor in both the Department of Physics and the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Science, has been studying earthquakes and volcanos in South America for the last five years.

"Some seismologists are saying that not all the energy [from the moving tectonic plates] has been released," Unsworth said. If those observations are correct, then Chile may see an earthquake of even greater magnitude in the future.

However, Unsworth noted that Chile has taken earthquake preparedness very seriously, noting that the country's earthquake drills have improved greatly after the 2010 earthquake, which had magnitude of 8.8 , killed over 500 individuals. Last week's earthquake measured 8.2, but only six fatalities have been recorded. "People know what to do."