Today in Earthquake History
Earthquake History for March 3rd
- At least 177 people killed, 2,575 injured and
extensive damage in central Chile, including the cities of San Antonio, Valparaiso, Vina del Mar, Santiago and
Rancagua. Maximum intensity VIII in the Valparaiso area. Liquefaction occurred in saturated beach dune sands
in the Vina del Mar and San Antonio areas. Reports of extensive ground cracks and subsidence throughout most
of the epicentral area. Numerous landslides in the coastal mountains. Felt in Chile along a 2,000 km strip
from Copiapo to Valdivia. Felt (VI) at Mendoza and (V) at San Juan, Argentina. Also felt by people in
highrise buildings in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Tsunami generated with wave heights at
selected tide stations as follows: 1.1 m at Valparaiso; 48 cm at Hilo, Hawaii; 15 cm at Sand Point, Alaska; 12
cm at Adak, Alaska; 11 cm at Rikitea, Gambier Islands; 10 cm at Papeete, Tahiti; 10 cm at Kushiro, Nemuro and
Miyako, Japan; 5 cm at Seward, Alaska; 4 cm at Kodiak, Alaska; and 3 cm at Honolulu and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Significant Earthquakes of the World, 1985.
- The United States Geological Survey was established on March 3, 1879,
just a few hours before the mandatory close of the final session of the
45th Congress, when President Rutherford B. Hayes signed the bill
appropriating money for sundry civil expenses of the Federal Government
for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1879. The sundry civil expenses bill
included a brief section establishing a new agency, the United States
Geological Survey, placing it in the Department of the Interior,
and charging it with a unique combination of responsibilities: `classification of
the public lands, and examination of the geological structure, mineral resources,
and products of the national domain.'
The United States Geological Survey: 1879-1989, USGS Circular 1050
by Mary C. Rabbitt.
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