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New video: The incredible force of the Chile earthquake

March 26, 2010 | 10:54 am

Nearly a month after the Chile earthquake, a new video clip capturing the incredible force of the magnitude 8.8. quake has been made public. Watch above, from the 12th floor of a hotel in the city of Valdivia. Night-owl guests and workers struggle to remain standing as the buildings around them rock back and forth. Keep an eye on the swinging lamps in the upper portion of the screen. (Link via the blog Lat/Am Daily.)

In case it hasn't been made entirely clear how geologically significant the February quake was, NASA reports that the seismic event may have shorted the length of the day on Earth -- "by about 1.26 microseconds" -- and shifted the planet's axis -- "by 2.32 milliarcseconds (about 7 centimeters, or 2.76 inches)."

Several cities in Chile literally moved on the map after the shaking, notes Discovery News, citing research out of Ohio State University. Hard-hit Concepcion, for instance, moved about 10 feet to the west.

In The Times last Sunday, reporter Patrick McDonnell recounted the moving story of a firefighter and paramedic who lost his wife and daughter during the tsunami waves that hit Chile's coastal islands after the quake struck. "I thought for a moment that we were going to be spared, and we would have this story to tell when we were old," said Luis Gatica.

President Sebastian Pinera, responding to public anger at the lack of proper tsunami warnings after the quake, accepted an early-retirement recommendation for the captain in charge of the country's Navy Hydrological and Oceanographic Service. The story is in English at the CNN news blog.

Noted: Lat/Am Daily also posts on a growing batch of legal claims against the company behind a Concepcion residential building -- a new construction -- that split in two and collapsed during the quake.

-- Daniel Hernandez in Mexico City