Chile. Two dramatic events marked the year in Chile and became major media news worldwide. The first was a powerful earthquake that hit the country’s southern and central parts on February 27. The earthquake, which measured 8.8 on the Richter scale, was one of the most powerful ever and 50 times stronger than the one that hit Haiti in January. More than 800 people perished and 1.5 million became homeless, and the material damage was estimated at the equivalent of US $ 30 billion. Worst affected were the regions of Maule and Bío-Bío in the south, but the quake was also felt in the capital Santiago. According to COUNTRYAAH, Chile has a population of 18.73 million (2018). Twenty minutes after the main quake, the southern part of the country was also hit by a tsunami. Looting of ruined houses and shops, especially in the provincial capital and the country’s second largest city Concepción in Bío-Bío, forced President Michelle Bachelet to call for an emergency permit and deploy 15,000 soldiers to protect private property and restore order. The quake was followed by several powerful aftershocks, including March 11, in the midst of the televised surrender of the presidential office to the winner in the 2009 presidential election Sebastián Piñera.
In early August, a race occurred in the San José mine near Copiapó in northern Chile. Only after just over two weeks did it appear that 33 miners survived the raid and were trapped at a depth of 700 meters. The first messages pointed to the fact that the rescue operation could not start until December, and planning was made for three alternative rescue operations. But already on October 13, all miners, after just over two months underground, could be rescued through an extremely complicated operation with a specially drilled, barely meter-wide rescue tunnel and a specially constructed rescue capsule. The whole drama took place in large part before the media cameras and spread throughout the world. The newly inaugurated President Piñera, who was present throughout the rescue operation.
|Gross domestic product (GDP)||452,100,000,000 USD|
|GDP growth rate||1.50%|
|GDP per capita||$ 24,600|
|GDP by sector|
|Proportion of the population below the national poverty line||15.1%|
|Distribution of household income|
|Industrial production growth rate||0.20%|
|Investment volume||21.4% of GDP|
|National debt||23.60% of GDP|
|Foreign exchange reserves||$ 39,110,000,000|
Chile – Santiago
Santiago, Santiago de Chile, capital of Chile; 4. 9 million residents (2013). Santiago is located in the Mapocho River valley in central Chile. The city completely dominates the country’s political, commercial, financial and cultural life. Santiago is also the center of the country’s road, rail and air transport system. Ocean ports can be found in the nearby cities of San Antonio and Valparaiso. Santiago has a metro, and the country’s international flights are concentrated to the airport of Arturo Merino Benítez, the largest of the city’s five airports.
Santiago also has a large part of the country’s industry, with the production of mainly food, textiles, shoes and minerals. Industrial emissions and exhaust emissions from the city’s many motor vehicles, combined with local terrain and climate conditions, have caused serious problems with air pollution. Santiago has a large number of universities, of which the most famous is the Universidad de Chile (founded in 1738).
Before the arrival of the Spaniards, the area around what is today Santiago was inhabited by picunchei natives. Santiago was founded by Pedro de Valdivia in 1541 and became Chile’s capital after independence in 1818. The city has been ravaged by several severe earthquakes.