|The Magnitude 8.8 earthquake in Chile is not a "sign of 2012"|
|USGS Earthquake Map|
|Image courtesy of the United States Geological Survey, used under "Fair Use" provisions for educational purposes. Click for a full-sized image.|
On February 27, 2010, a magnitude 8.8 earthquake centered 56 miles northeast of the city of Concepcion at a depth of 35 kilometers was detected by USGS. This is the strongest quake in South America since the 1960 Valdivia event, occurring offshore and slightly northwest of the 1960 quake.1 Tsunami warnings were issued by NOAA for the majority of the Pacific Ocean, and tsunami were recorded in Hawaii and Japan. The according to some computations, the quake may have shortened the length of a day by a very tiny amount.
As with the earthquakes in Illinois and Haiti, this earthquake was immediately seized upon and cited as evidence that "2012 is real". The claim hinges upon a belief that earthquakes are increasing in number and intensity.
We expect to see a lot of citations of these three events (Illinois, Haiti, and Chile) as "evidence".
However, these claims are not supported by the evidence2, because these claims ignore the actual statistics (i.e. "data") in favor of news coverage.
Frequent Quakes in the region
The area struck by this quake is no stranger to large or great quakes. The largest earthquake ever recorded was the 1960 Valdiva earthquake. In addition this quake was nearly identical to the earthquake that Charles Darwin recorded in 1835 that devastated Concepción, and raised the island of Santa Maria by about 3 meters. In fact, according to Wikipedia, the region has been the site of many large or great quakes3:
The region where this earthquake struck has a history of very large earthquakes. There is no reason to link this earthquake to something happening in 2012. The number and intensity of earthquakes are not "on the rise"