About the seminar
On 27 February 27 2010, a magnitude 8.8 mega-earthquake, the fifth largest instrumental recorded on earth, struck the central south coast of Chile. Major tsunami waves followed and seriously hit the coast.
This seminar analyses the coastal coseismic uplifts in and around the Arauco Gulf in southern Chile and compares them with observations made by Charles Darwin following the 1835 earthquake in the same area.
The 2010 uplifts caused major biological and eco-logical effects on intertidal biomarker species along with direct impacts on the small-scale artisan fishing capacity and coast livelihoods in the area. Despite the magnitude of the catastrophe and the absence of official warnings, there were less than 10 fisher victims (due to the tsunami) out of about 170-200 death tool.
Results based on grassroots information and surveys within two months after the catastrophe, show that this trend can be explained by the existence of social/cultural assets: local knowledge and social networks, crystallizing into a hazard sub-culture among small-scale fisher communities.
This highlights the need for precautionary measures which integrate contextual and behavioral approaches in the management and rehabilitation regarding mega-natural hazards.
About Professor Castilla
Juan Carlos Castilla's primary career focus is on the role that marine preserves and management areas play in the sustainable use of natural resources.
Apart from his position at the Universidad Católica de Chile, Castilla heads the coastal marine station Estacion Costera de Investigaciones Marineas in Las Cruces, Chile, which has operated as a research marine preserve for the last 24 years.
Castilla's research have greatly influenced the new Chilean Fishery and Aquaculture law and he has been recognized with a number of awards, most recently a National Award for Applied Science and Technology in September 2010. He is also a member of the scientific committee of ICSU's Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society.