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Space Station View of Concepcion, Chile
03.02.10
Concepcion, Chile
ISS022-E-074881 (27 Feb. 2010) --- Earthquake damage in Concepcion, Chile is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 22 crew member on the International Space Station. This detailed view of the Chilean cities of Concepcion and Hualpen was acquired from the space station approximately seven hours after a magnitude 8.8 earthquake occurred offshore 115 kilometers to the north-northeast. Much of the Chilean coastline is located above the boundary between the converging Nazca and South American tectonic plates. This type of plate boundary is known as a subduction zone; such zones frequently experience moderate to strong earthquakes as one tectonic plate overrides the other. The largest earthquake worldwide during the past 200 years (magnitude 9.5 in May 1960) had a source region approximately 230 kilometers north of the Feb. 27 quake. While the image is not detailed enough to see damage to individual buildings or roadways some indicators of earthquake damage are visible. A dark smoke plume is visible at lower left near an oil refinery in Hualpen. At lower right, parts of the road bed of a single-lane bridge over the Bio-Bio River appear to have collapsed. A smaller, white smoke plume is visible at right near the Universidad de Concepcion. Smoke and haze possibly related to the earthquake was noted over Santiago, Chile in data acquired by the MODIS sensor less than one hour after this photograph was taken.

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