Chile Earthquake Less Than $100M Insured Loss; Japan Rattled

NU Online News Service, March 27, 2:18 p.m. EDT

The magnitude 7.1 earthquake that rocked Chile on Sunday is not expected to be a significant insurance loss, while Japan once again experienced a significant quake today that fortunately caused no damage.

Catastrophe modeler Eqecat issued a statement saying Sunday’s earthquake in Chile is expected to produce less than $100 million in insured losses.

The earthquake struck about 124 miles south of Santiago, Chile, at a “moderate depth” of about 22 miles. The earthquake was felt throughout central Chile, Eqecat notes, including regions affected by 2010's magnitude 8.8 earthquake.

Tao Lai, principal engineer at AIR Worldwide, says the earthquake, due to its location, can be considered another aftershock of the 2010 earthquake.

Catastrophe modeler RMS says that the level of shaking can be expected to cause “moderate damage” to “moderate/heavy damage” depending on the quality of construction.

The Associated Press (AP) reports that while buildings swayed and there was some panic in the capital of Santiago, there were no deaths or major damage reported.

In Japan, the U.S. Geological Survey says a magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck near the east coast of Honshu, Japan, about 316 miles north-northeast of Tokyo at 8 p.m. local time (7 a.m. EDT).

There was no damage or risk of tsunami reported, according to AP.

Closer to home, AP reports that Baltimore Catholic archdiocese officials say earthquake damage from last year to the 200-year-old Basilica of the Assumption in Baltimore could cost $5 million to repair.

AP says the Baltimore Sun reports that the cracks in one of the domes in the oldest cathedral in the country appeared soon after last August’s earthquake that rocked the Mid-Atlantic states.

The Basilica will be closed during the week for eight months, limiting access for tourists, but it will not affect other activity.

AP also notes that repairs to the Washington National Cathedral are expected to run around $20 million.

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