The World: Chile: On the Circle of Fire

LIKE the Andean republics to the north, Chile lies along the "circle of fire," a ring of volcanoes and seismic fault lines that encircle the Pacific Basin. The west coast of South America, in particular, is a storm center of seismic shocks set off by the depth and turbulence of the Peru-Chile trench offshore. One such shock struck Peru in May 1970, killing an estimated 50,000 people. The Chileans too have paid a heavy price for their geography. Some 3,000 Chileans were killed in the 1906 earthquake, 30,000 in 1939 and 5,000 in 1960. The last serious quake occurred in 1965,...

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