COMMENTS: Nazca Plate Crashes into Chile’s Coast
The aftermath of this weekend's massive earthquake in Chile was the Story of the Day and the lead on all three newscasts. ABC and CBS both kicked off from Santiago--with David Wright and Mark Strassmann--where anti-seismic building codes prevented a Port-au-Prince style catastrophe. Nationwide, Chile's death toll is estimated at a fraction of Haiti's, just 720. NBC sent Today newscaster Ann Curry southwards towards the epicenter. The closer she came to Concepcion, Chile's second largest city, the more devastated was the infrastructure. On ABC, Jeffrey Kofman made the same southwards trek: "In Talca, we found buildings ripped apart like toys in the hands of an impetuous child."
Back in the United States, both CBS' Bill Whitaker and NBC's Robert Bazell explained the seismology of the tremor that literally shook the Earth on its axis. The Nazca Plate's eastwards motion caused the disaster. Its collision with South America is what is creating the Andes Mountains. NBC's Bazell noted that this phenomenon is different from the side-by-side rubbing of plates, which occurred in Haiti and which is the feature of California's San Andreas Fault. If the United States is to experience a Chile-style earthquake, he reported, that will occur in Oregon and Washington.
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