On Wednesday 16th September, another devastating earthquake struck Chile, with Santiago, Valparaíso, and several coastal towns badly affected. The 8.3 magnitude earthquake, which occurred 228km from Santiago, just offshore in the Pacific, is the latest of many to hit Chile in recent years, and has so far claimed the lives of at least 11 people, with more deaths expected to be confirmed.
The initial tremor was the most damaging, but there have also been several subsequent aftershocks, the most serious of which was at magnitude 7. As well as the deaths caused by the earthquake, one million people have been evacuated from their homes, and there have been tsunami warnings for countries both sides of the Pacific, including in New Zealand and California.
Chile is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries, due to its position at the junction of three tectonic plates, and last Wednesday’s disaster follows similarly devastating quakes in Iquique in 2014 and off the coast of central Chile in 2010. FitzGerald Consulting was appointed to handle the CAT event after the 2010 earthquake and won a prestigious British Insurance Award for its work there over a two year period.
Managing Director of Fitzgerald Consulting Ltd in London, Bev FitzGerald, travelled to Chile this week to support the company’s business there, and to liaise with Juan Ignacio Alvarez, MD of the Latin American branch FitzGerald Consulting LAT. Juan Ignacio has already travelled to view the damage in the epicentre of the earthquake, describing it as ‘significant’.