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The Chilean mountain is an essential element in the operation of the Chilean geographic system. It is an important reserve of water and snow that originates the rivers that irrigate the intermediate depression and makes possible the obtaining of electrical energy. In addition, the mountain encloses numerous mineral treasures. Since the dawn of the twentieth century, the Chilean economy has been dominated by copper production. Chile is one of the main industrialized countries of Latin America, as well as one of the most important producers of minerals. In the 1970s efforts were made to push the abandoned agricultural sector and reduce the country's dependence on food imports. After a reduction of the most important crops in the early 1980s, agricultural production recovered towards the end of the decade. Approximately 15% of the active population is engaged in agriculture, and agricultural products represent about 10% of the gross product (GDP). The diversity of the Chilean geography offers many agricultural products. These are sold and consumed in the country and also many of them are exported. Among the main agricultural products in Chile we can mention fruits and vegetables from the central valley of Chile, which is ideal for growing many types of fruits, vegetables, and grains. Due to a favorable climate and geographic isolation that reduces pests and diseases, Chile may have a thriving agriculture industry. Because Chile sits in the Southern Hemisphere, its growing season allows for fruit and vegetable exports to the US, Canada, and Europe during the winter months. Other important natural product is wood from the great forests in the south. The strong currents of the rivers that descend from the Andes and the coastal chains constitute rich sources of hydropower. By the end of the 1980s, Chile already covered three-quarters of its consumption with energy from these sources. One of the principals threats in the country are natural geological disasters. The main cause of natural disasters are earthquakes and other related events such as tsunamis, landslides, etc. Because of its location in the Pacific belt of fire, Chile is considered the second most seismically active country in the world after Japan, and the fourth most exposed to major damage from natural disasters. Much of the continental territory lies adjacent to the subduction zone of the Nazca plate under the South American plate, but the subduction is produced by the Antarctic plate, which moves at a slower speed than the Nazca plate and, therefore, is seismically less active. After Indonesia, Chile has the second largest and active volcanic chain on Earth. In the country there are at least two thousand volcanoes; among these, 500 are considered geologically active, with a total of approximately three hundred eruptions registered in 60 of them in the last 450 years. This country is also affected, to a lesser extent, by droughts, forest fires, and others. The impact of these natural phenomena on people's lives is tremendous, not only because of the death of the people themselves, but also because of the impact on the quality of life of the population. To this is added the economic impact that these disasters cause, and that affect the correct functioning of society and its inhabitants. For example, the earthquake of 2010 produced an economic impact of 30 trillion dollars, or more than 13 percent of the gross domestic product of the country. These impacts become very relevant in a country like Chile, which has concentrated most of the emergencies due to natural disasters in South America. According to estimates, the federal government has disbursed an average of 200 million dollars per year in the last five years, and had to help more than 350 thousand victims, making it the country that spends the most in emergencies in Latin America. The country has different mechanisms to manage risks in the face of natural hazards, including land use planning, preventive and emergency measures, as well as the recovery of affected homes and infrastructures. Chilean policy in the face of socio-natural events has been reactive until now, with an emphasis on disaster management and not on risk management, addressing, above all, the demand for the emergency, once the disaster has occurred and always from the perspective of a centralized state. In this sense, it focuses mainly on responding to a particular fact, on delivering goods and restoring services, and does not act under an A-M-P system, which causes that there is a low resilience to the occurrence of these disasters.

Tag(s) : #Geography, #Chile, #Andes, #Santiago, #economy, #South America
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