The Earthquake in Chile


Book section


André, Mylène


The Earthquake in Chile




François Gemenne
Pauline Brücker
Joshua Glaser

Book Title

The State of Environmental Migration 2010


International Organization for Migration

Vol, pp

07/2011, 49-56


Following the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990), Chile has experienced stable democracy and is now considered as one of the most developed countries in South America and one of the leaders of the continent, though its economic inequalities are among the highest in
the sub-continent.

Chile is geographically unique, as it extends from the Atacama Desert in the North to Cape Horn in the South, with a varying landscape of deserts, lakes, mountains, and glaciers in between. It is also highly prone to natural disasters: the country lies on top of the tectonic Nazca Plate and the South American plates, and therefore frequently experiences earthquakes. Because of its long Pacific coastline, these earthquakes can trigger tsunamis, as well.

Chile is therefore considered highly vulnerable to disasters related to climate change. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) names Chile as a country of particular concern due to changes in prevailing global climate patterns (Government of Chile, 2010b:13), and the country has seven of the nine national characteristics that made up a “vulnerability framework” in the article 4.8 of the UNFCCC.


André, M. (2010). The Earthquake in Chile. In F. Gemenne, P. Brücker, J. Glasser (ed.), The State of Environmental Migration 2010, 49-56. Geneva, Switzerland: International Organization for Migration