tv Larry King Live CNN February 27, 2010 9:00pm-10:00pm EST
have dealings with. a special "larry king live" is about to start in just a few minutes. we will see you back here at ten. six members of congress are retiring. why are they doing it? maybe because they think our government is broken. meantime a special edition of "larry king live" starts right now. >> larry: thank you, don. good evening. at least 214 people are dead after an 8.8 magnitude quake rocked chile early saturday morning. 2 million people have been affected. witnesses are reporting aftershocks about every hour. a resulting tsunami has ravaged parts of the chilean coast. warnings were posted in hawaii, while the surf did rise, hawaii is no longer facing the threat.
>> larry: let's begin with jacqui jeras, our meteorologist and cnn weather anchor. she is in atlanta. jacqui, for those who may have just joined us, what happened today? >> wow. the earth moved, larry. and it is such an incredible force. this is one of the strongest earthquakes that has ever been recorded in history. this was an 8.8 magnitude earthquake. we have two plates that come together in an active fault line. it shook the ground incredibly, causing major, major damage. as a result of that earthquake it created what we call a tsunami. so a tsunami is something that occurs when the earth's plates as they shift and move together will get an upward thrust of that crust. that will push the water up and propagate waves an move them inland. we had warnings in effect, many, many countries across the globe.
those warnings were in effect. now we only have them for russia and japan. tsunamis were recorded on chile about eight feet high and we had some recordings in new zealand as well as hawaii only about three feet deep. as we go forward we will watch the waves continue to move across the pacific basin and we are concerned about russia and japan heading into eastern times 11:00, 12 midnight. larry, here are the largest earthquakes we've had recorded, the stron u.s. happened t.5, 200 miles away from the one that happened today. when we talk about what happened in haiti, this earthquake was about 500 times more populated.
>> jacqui, you stay close. we'll be checking back with you. let's go on the phone to senior vice president, cnn international. he is currently situated in santiago, chile. what is the situation there rolando? >> well, it is obviously late in the evening now. most people have settled in for the evening in santiago. this is a population that is used to earthquakes. they have a long history of earthquakes, but by any standard this shook up the population, partly because it covered so much territory. as the day went on, larry, we got to see more and more of the destruction outside of santiago. based on what our reporters are saying and what i'm observing there are three basic feelings. at this point there is a lot of shock given the amount of destruction particularly in the areas outside of santiago. there is a lot of uncertainty
because of the lines of communication, telephones are not working. people don't know where their loved ones are, family members are. they are using twitter and social networks. there is a lot of anxiousness. we have had more than 33 aftershocks. some have been better than 6.9 and felt as far away as argentina. that is the feeling at this point. >> larry: wow. we check in with thelma gutierrez, who happened to be in hawaii on a family vacation. we followed her doings all day and you got lucky, right, thelma, nothing really serious happened there? >> reporter: larry, i can tell you people are breathing a huge sigh of relief. this morning about 6:00 the sirens went off in the town right above us. but then the sirens started going off right here at the hiltton waikoloa.
people were pounding on the doors to make sure the guests were up and out. that is what we did. we get a phone call saying you've got to go. there is a tsunami warning. i had to gather my family and kids and whatever we could take and quickly get out the door. they took us to this evacuation center. maybe 1,000 guests at that center and in addition to that 500 employees. this is one resort, larry. we watched from big screens as this thing played out and thankfully nothing happened. the swells from the hotel roof top were no more than half a foot. people here very relieved tonight. >> larry: you are not kidding. jacqui jeras, why were they wrong about hawaii? >> well, you know, it is not an exact science, larry. we knew the tsunami occurred, the waves were out there.
i don't think they were necessarily wrong. they had a tsunami, it just happened to be three feet high opposed to six or eight feet high. even a three-foot tsunami if you are standing there on the beach it would hit up to your knees, that would be enough to knock you ducown off your feet. it is very dangerous. any huts or businesses along the beach, they could have been washed out today. i wouldn't say they were wrong, they just overestimated it a little bit. >> larry: rolando on the phone. rolando is gone. we'll ask jacqui, 6.9 aftershock. isn't that an earthquake? >> absolutely that's an earthquake. that is what aftershocks are. you have the big initial quake, the big jolt at 8.8. the crusts are going to try to settle in and move and shift
until the pressure has been released just a little bit. when you have one this strong you are literally going to have hundreds of aftershocks. we could potentially get a 7.0 aftershock or more. potentially that could trigger another tsunami. most of the aftershocks, there have been 50 by now, by the way, most of these are more like 6.0, 5.0. many of them are offshore and very, very deep and so the deeper the earthquake occurs, the less likely you are going to be feeling that on the surface. we could have these aftershocks, larry, not just days, weeks or months, but for over a year. >> larry: more of our coverage of the 8.8 earthquake in chile. stay with us. allergies put me in a fog. so now, i'm claritin clear! claritin works great on all my allergies like dust, mold, pollen, or pets
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>> larry: joins us now by beeper is ambassador paul simon, the united states ambassador to chile. mr. ambassador, what is the status of our embassy an the staff there? >> well, first of all, thank you, larry. we're doing quite well here, larry. most of us have been up since 3:30 this morning when the shake originally occurred and within an hour we had a skeleton staff
of about 15 or 20 embassy employees in the embassy itself reaching out to make sure our other u.s. government employees were safe. we believe we have accounted for all of our 100 u.s. employees. but, of course, our broader responsibilities are to the more or less 18,000 u.s. citizens who reside or visit chile at any given time. we activated our warden network. we reached out to all of the affects areas through e-mail, phone to the extent we could, although the systems were down a good chunk of the day and as of now we are aware of no fatalities or serious injuries to any u.s. citizens, but with the caveat that in the epicenter city of concepcion, we have no response back through our warden network. >> mr. ambassador the president
pledged the united states will be there for chile asked for rescue and recovery assistance. has the government asked you for any assistance yet? >> they have not, larry. it is interesting to note. chile is a country that is seismically active. they have 120 active volcanos, a huge earthquake about every 25 years and they are rather good at search and rescue. in fact, they were one of the big contributors to haiti in the first couple of days they sent teams out there. they told us because wi had teams ready to deploy. they said we don't need immediate search-and-rescue teams but we may need specialized support later on. so we are working very closely with the government of chile. we have our disaster relief people in direct contact, military in direct contact. as soon as we identify a fit, we
will be there for them. >> larry: another thing, secretary of state clinton scheduled for a trip through the region. has anything changed? >> the secretary spoke with president bachelet about that trip and they agreed they would keep in touch. certainly we want to make sure any visit is something that moves the process forward here. but the secretary and president bachelet know each other very well. they are close friends. president obama is close to president bachelet. they had a conversation today. we would like to do whatever we can to help wherever possible. >> larry: ambassador paul simons. in atlanta carolina escobar. she went to school in concepcion. your family is there, we understand. have you heard from them?
>> reporter: larry, yes. my family is in santiago. i have dear friends still in concepcion. i went to school in university in that city. i have heard from my parents, my brothers, my sisters, they are all fine. there are dear, dear friends i haven't been able to locate yet but i'm hoping they are fine. >> do you think the experience your country has had is help something. >> reporter: well, larry. yes. we know there are several earthquakes you will live throughout your life. you cannot be prepared for an 8.8 earthquake. that will get you in the surprise. in the middle of the night sleeping and the light is out. yes. we all know what an earthquake means, what you should be doing, what you should do. >> thank you, carolinaa.
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elliott yamin is a season finalist on "american idol." what were you doing at chile? >> we were performing at the 2010 musical in vina del mar. >> larry: where were you when the earthquake hit? >> i was in my room on the seventh floor of my hotel. luckily i got out unscathed and unharmed. and i'm very lucky to be alive. >> larry: mr. yamin, have you experienced anything like this before? have you ever been in an earthquake? >> yes. when i was about 7, 8, i think
10, we experienced a heavy duty earthquake. this is the first real big earthquake i have been in since i was a young child. >> larry: thanks, elliott. you have been doing yeoman-like work. we have a seismologist from the u.s. geological survey. what is the most significant thing that happened today? >> the motor significant is the size. this is a magnitude 8.8 earthquake. this is the fifth largest instrumentally recorded earthquake on record. this is a very big earthquake. it is the first earthquake since 1964 that caused a pacific-wide tsunami warning. this is a very big event. >> larry: the fault system where it occurred, does that get a lot
of quakes? >> yes. it is a very active fault system. you've got the tectonic plates, sub ducting between the south american plate fairly rapidly eight centimeters a year, three inches a year the plates collide. the oceanic plate goes beneath the south american plate in this area. it generates a lot of et quakes. we've had 13 magnitude 7.20 and larger since 1973. to the south of this recent earthquake was the largest earthquake we have recorded with instruments, 9.5 in 1960. >> larry: you are not surprised by the aftershocks? >> we are certainly not surprised by the aftershocks in this earthquake. a magnitude 8.8 earthquake will
have a robust aftershock sequence. the largest has been 6.9. that in itself is almost as large as the haiti earthquake. this will decrease in the coming days but they will continue to have earthquakes in the weeks, months and years to follow. >> larry: the earth can be a rambunctious place. any connection at all between haiti and chile? >> no. this is -- the haiti earthquake was quite a distance away from this earthquake. you can have earthquakes affected by nearby earthquakes, but the stresses that were rearranged by the haiti earthquake were not large enough to affect this area. >> larry: paul is going to stay with us because we are going to check back with him throughout this hour. we are going to check in with a member of chile's olympic team when we come back.
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scheduled for march 4th. the closing ceremony is tomorrow. i will be walking behind the flag tomorrow. >> larry: have you heard from family and friends in chile? >> my family, my parents are here right now because they came to watch my races so thank god they're all right. the rest of my family is fine. my house is still standing with some minor damage. my family home, the roof fell and some walls are on the floor, too, because it was a really old house, but there were no injured in my family, thank god. >> larry: have you experienced an earthquake? >> i was in chile during the 2005 earthquake that hit the north of chile. it wasn't half as bad as this one. it was eight dead people. so i have heard this one was very, very strong and this it
was felt very hard. >> larry: but noel, you are telling us the chilean olympic team will be in the parade tomorrow night in the final ceremony? >> the two boys that were here for alpine skiing have left, one went to france and the other went to canada with his family. i am going to be the only athlete walking, my coach and the president of the team. >> larry: thank you. noel, we are glat everybody in your concern is safe. back to paul earle, our seismologist at the u.s. geological survey. when are we going to be able to forecast these things, paul? he stepped away. i'm sorry to hear that. we will take a break and come right back. these days, money market funds are paying less...
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coast? >> reporter: larry, this is a country used to tsunami warnings, what caught our attention and this is sunday morning here this is the first major tsunami warning japan has seen in more than 15 years. the government has activated setting up a task force and local governments have now issued tens of thousands of residents to begin evacuating. the impact area is the entire coast of japan. the entire main island, the northern part of the main island is looking at tsunami waves, potentially of more than nine feet that is significant. rail service has been stopped and people have been warned to get out of the low-lying area. now, japan is used to tsunamis as i said. this is a country that is an island nation. so people are well versed in how to evacuate, but certainly we are going to through a drill of a very serious tsunami beginning
to approach this country. it is expected to arrive in about an hour and a half. >> larry: kyung, can you tell us about what major city might be in trouble? >> reporter: the major cities are not specifically impacted. tokyo is further inland. we have a number of major metropolitan areas that are inland. we are looking at the fishing area,s the coastal areas, the resort areas that will be impacted here. if they are looking at a tsunami that could hit the northern part of japan up to nine feet those are tens of thousands of people potentially impacted. the government taking these measures in part because in 1960 when the quake happened in chile, 140 people died in japan because they weren't prepared. this is the preparations, the steps to make sure the people are not killed. >> larry: so japan preparing for the worst.
kyung lee will be hanging around through the night. back to paul earle and we will check in with jacqui jeras in a moment. paul, when are these things going to be predict snbl. >> a long time, maybe never when we can predict the time and magnitude of an earthquake. we have a good idea of where they are likely to occur. in chile it is no surprise to have an earth dwhak size in this area. it is a long fault line. we can't tell you exactly when and where so people have to plan accordingly knowing it could happen at any time. >> larry: why did haiti suffer so much more deaths? >> there's a number of reasons. one is the earthquake fault in haiti was right there on the surface, it ruptured the crust very close to port-au-prince. another is infrastructure.
the infrastructure in haiti was not as seismically resistant as some of the infrastructure in chile. there are other details about the type of shaking these earthquakes can produce. this particular earthquake, this very large earthquake produces maybe potentially less high energy shaking or high frequency shaking than the earthquake in haiti. there are subtleties in the earthquake that go beyond the magnitude that determine how much damage an earthquake can do. >> larry: let's check in with wayne dog chapman. he is in kona. you live there? >> no. my son does. we are filming catching fugitives. we got caught up in the tsunami. >> did -- do you know anybody who had to evacuate? how was kona prepared for what
might have happened and didn't? >> well, larry, the whole hawaiian island chain, all the shorelines evacuate. so within a quarter mile from the ocean, the whole islands, every one of them evacuated buzz it was very serious. what is crazy about it, larry, is this is like whale season right now and the guys out there said the whales disappeared and everything. the birds came in, the sea gulls came in. it was amazing that, you know, mother nature just stopped what could have been a huge catastrophe. >> larry: when you evacuate, what did you take with you, dog? >> they suggest you have packets of water, candles, some food, blankets, the basic necessities for at least two days. >> larry: how worried were you? >> well, we were very worried because the whole, you know, at 2:00 in the morning the sirens
went off and at 6:00 the sirens when on and off and on and off. i have never been in an air raid, but it was like that. we evacuated, took a chance that something might happen. thank god it didn't. >> larry: what is the weather like? >> about 82, wind is ten miles an hour. it is kind of -- it's beautiful but very calm like there was a storm. >> larry: thanks, dog. on the scene, duane dog chapman. jacqui jeras are you surprised this has spread as far as it has, possibly now tokyo? >> no. not surprised at all, in fact, larry. these tsunamis that get generated will often travel across the pacific basin. we haven't seen a pacific-wide warnings like this in years and years and years.
when you are talking about the ocean, you know, there is nothing in between to stop those waves. it is a big column of water. we talk about storm surge. that is when wind blows the water up. when we talk about tsunami, this is the entire column or depth of the ocean. if you are sitting on a cruise ship, you are going to be just fine. you probably won't ever feel it. it feels like the regular waves, regular motion in the ocean. as it gets up toward the land, as it slopes up toward the coastline, all that water gets pushed up there and that is when you see tsunamis generated. no big surprise we are watching japan and russia in the upcoming hours. one other thing, larry, by the way. i wanted to show you from the japan meteorological agency, which parts of japan that will get hit. tokyo is here, okinawa is here.
this is the greatest potential because of the coastline and ramp up where we could see ten-foot rises. >> larry: thanks, jacqui, don't go away. dr. earle, we have been hearing it all day. what does the word tsunami mean? >> tsunami, it is best just think of it as what it is. it is a very large ocean-going wave that can transverse the ocean at 600 kilometers per hour, as fast as a jet plane. the misnomer is to think of it as a tidal wave, a different feature related to tides. tsunamis are triggered by a change in thrust motion or down motion in the bottom of the ocean which causes this wave to travel across the ocean. >> larry: do you know what language the word comes from? >> it is a japanese word. >> larry: we'll be back with
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attended the conference of mayors winter meeting. also with us dr. laura congress, director of the international tsunami information center. kirk, how worried were you about honolulu? >> we were very worried, larry. we took this event extremely seriously. an earthquake 8.8 on the restrict ter scale was generated in 1960. i am from the town of hilo. that generated a 30-foot wave and killed 30 some odd people in a tsunami that struck in 1960. we were very, very concerned. the earthquake generated back in 1960, while larger, you know, we were fearful, therefore we took extreme action to make sure public safety was affected.
>> larry: dr. kong, do you worry that people might not pay attention? >> what we learn is with every event we get a little bitter. we were able to make more accurate decisions. for instance, in this particular event the warning centers, the pacific tsunami center part of noaa issued its first message 12 minutes after the event. that is better because over the last ten years it used to take 40 or 50 minutes. we have made advances thanks to international cooperation. >> larry: kirk, do you think the populous understands that these things happen and forewarned is forearmed? >> yes. i do think you are right, larry. as dr. kong mentioned, every time we do this we get better. the public this time really
cooperated. they stayed off the roads. they helped evacuate when they should have. the last time we went through an event was 1985. we had gridlock at the major coastal highways when the tsunami would have hit. if it had been a tsunami people would have drowned in their cars. people left early, we closed the roads an hour before the tsunami struck. working with dr. kong and the civil service people on all the major islands made a difference. it was a good dry run. we plan for the worst and hoped for the best and the best occurred in this event. >> larry: dr. kong, can a tsunami happen at any time of the year or are there prevalent times. >> there is no season for tsunamis. hurricanes occur or snow and blizzard occur this time of year, there are no seasons for tsunamis. we have to be ready, prepared.
it is the early warning system, in american samoa the education, the outreach, that preparedness that kirk was mentioning will save lives. >> larry: now jacqui jeras will show us the differences between the earthquake in chile today and the earthquake in haiti last month. >> yeah, larry, lots of differences between the two. when we go up in magnitude, the haiti earthquake was 7.0, today in chile was 8.8. between seven and eight you go up 33 times and between eight and nine. 500 more times more powerful today's earthquake than the haitian one. let me show you a couple of things on google earth. let me show you this area, the epicenter of this was offshore and it was maybe three miles away from the coastline. this is the coastal area where the greatest jolt or impact
would be. take a look, there is nothing there. you can't find a house on there. very sparsely populated. santiago is 200 miles up to the north. you saw how violent that was. let's take you into haiti and show you where that one happened. it happened just outside of port-au-prince. here is port-au-prince. these are actually probably aftershocks still. they happen for months since that quake that happened in january. we'll zoo into port-au-prince and it is very populated. this is the capital of haiti. this is where millions of people live. and the codes here for buildings is very, very poor as well. so construction has a little bit to do with it as well. this will show you from haiti how much of the population was impacted by the worst of the jolt. take a look at this. the worst at garys, extreme and violent and where you can see hundreds of thousands of people
felt the worst of the haitian earthquake. now as we go over here to the one that happened today in chile, expand that out for you, you can see 0% of the population saw the extreme or violent jolt because of that. that is one of the reasons why the haiti earthquake was more of a shallower quake, closer to the surface. the closer to the surface the more jolting you are going to feel. >> larry: more from survivors next. don't go away. it feels like a liner, but protects like a pad. because it absorbs 10 times more. there's nothing quite like it. carefree® ultra protection™. feels like a liner, protects like a pad™. who's not answering. announcer: there's a better way. intuit quickbooks online p9 organizes your business in one place, and helps you stay on top of your business anytime, anywhere. get a 30-day free trial at intuit.com.
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>> larry: now two survivors both in santiago, by skype. luke is an earthquake survivor and maria jose is an earthquake survivor as well. where were you, luke, when it happened? >> i was at my host family's house that i'm living with here in santiago. >> larry: did you get thrown out of bed? >> just about. i was actually still awake communicating with people back home just before it hit. the internet dropped, electricity dropped and the next thing i knew my windows were rattling like crazy and the whole house was shaking. >> larry: were you very scared?
>> i mean, yes and no. i live with a woman and her daughter and they were both apparently much more scared than i was so i felt i had to kick in more of a role of taking charge of the taking charge of the situation. i was more concerned about getting myself and them out of the house. more so -- it's a huge apartment complex, 20 stories, and that was my primary concern, getting myself outside the 20 floors. >> maria, do you live in chile? >> yes, i live in santiago. >> have you experienced earthquakes before? >> we have experienced a lot of shakes, but not such a drastic one. >> larry: how scared were you? >> pretty scared. actually, i was crying under the door with my family. my brother wasn't here, so we were pretty scared because he
was at the beach. >> larry: have you seen a lot of destruction near you, around you? >> actually, here in santiago, there's not a lot of destruction, it's more south. we were told we're not supposed to leave the house unless absolutely necessary. so we have heard that, and we just stayed at home here. >> what's the situation right now? >> the region is in catastrophe. they're estimating like 300 people. there's no electricity, and there's no public transport. there's a lot of towns that are
called -- >> thank you, maria, jose and luke. we thank you both very much for our skype reports. what is an 8.8 earthquake really like? what if it hit a city in the united states? we talk to experts next. ♪ [ woman ] nine iron, it's almost tee-time. time to face the pollen that used to make me sneeze, my eyes water. but with new zyrtec® liquid gels, i get allergy relief at liquid speed. that's the fast, powerful relief of zyrtec®,
joining us here in los angeles, nancy ausle. their organization one of the first responders in haiti. what's your gauge about how much help they're going to need in chile? >> luckily in chile, they have a pretty good search and rescue capability as you saw earlier on your show. we're hoping we can provide specialties that they might not have or certain reinforcements that they might need as a result of the earthquake. >> do they call you or do you go there? >> we'll do both? we basically have a team ready on stand by, ready to go at any point, based on whatever the needs are. we have medical supplies ready to go. in a place like haiti where we recently responded, we sent a team right away, with trauma
kits, with the right doctors and nurses. what we do is we determine what's most needed and those people are ready to go instantly. >> too early to tell now? >> too early to tell. one of the things that we try to do is -- it's not easy to get people where they need to be, it certainly takes resources, we want to make sure we send the right kind of help, and that we send it to the right places. >> what would happen if an 8.8 hit a city in america? >> it is actually possible that an 8.8 could hit america. an earthquake this large most likely happened off the coast of the pacific northwest, so off the coast of washington and oregon. in 1700, there was a magnitude 9 earthquake that did rupture there. it would do the same thing it did in chile. it would create a large tsunami, and create intense shaking that could potentially damage many
buildings in that area. >> one other thing, paul, how long will the aftershocks last? >> these aftershocks will fortunately go down in magnitude -- frequency as time goes on, that it could last months and years from now. >> and severe ones too? >> yes, severe ones. the numbers will go down with time, but it's very possible that even after a month or a year, we could have more severe aftershocks from this earthquake. >> larry: thank you, paul earl, seismologist. how are they formed, the international -- >> we're founded right here, headquartered right here in los angeles by dr. bob stein man. >> how long ago. >> 1984, in response to the chriscys in afghanistan. soviet union invaded, they didn't have access to medical
care. what international medical corps did is not only helping people in remote places, but helping them help themselves, training them, and providing care through people in the community through training. >> larry: do you think you may be diverted away from haiti now? >> we won't be diverted. we have a very robust response in haiti, we have 70 people on the ground in haiti. we're treating 15,000 people a day. excuse me, 1500 people a day. and things are very bad and very intense, and the work really has just begun, because we will be the long term. however, we do have people on stand by that can also go to chile, because we have a whole network of specialists. >> helping chile will not hurt haiti? >> hopefully chile will be able in large part to care for themselves, because they have such a great capacity. however, if they need our help, we're going to be there for them. i do believe right now,
everything is shocking the world, there's so much right now going on, and certainly it's probably overwhelming everybody. >> thank you very much, nancy, you do outstanding work, and we salute you for that. >> thank you. >> larry: nancy aossey, president and ceo of the national medical corps. we would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to marie osmond. one of her sons has passed away, his death is under investigation. our deepest sympathies are with marie osmond and her family at this sad and difficult time. we thank all of our guests tonight. condition krng winn will st situation in chile. and hopefully the situation is not as terrible in japan as they are