4 September 2013

A 7.7-magnitude earthquake strikes southern Pakistan, killing at least 327 people.

2013 Balochistan earthquakes
Epicentre
Quetta
Quetta
Awaran
Awaran
Karachi
Karachi
2013 Balochistan earthquakes
UTC time2013-09-24 11:29:47
ISC event608458290
USGS-ANSSComCat
Local date24 September 2013
Local time16:29:48 PKT (UTC+5)
Magnitude7.7 Mww
Depth15.0 km (9.3 mi)
Epicenter26°57′04″N 65°30′04″E / 26.951°N 65.501°E / 26.951; 65.501Coordinates: 26°57′04″N 65°30′04″E / 26.951°N 65.501°E / 26.951; 65.501
TypeOblique-slip
Areas affectedPakistan
Max. intensityVII (Very strong) at Awaran
Casualties825 dead[1][2]
700 injured[3][4][5]

The 2013 Balochistan earthquakes took place in late September in southwestern Pakistan. The mainshock had a moment magnitude of 7.7 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of VII (Very strong). At least 825 people were killed and hundreds more were injured. On 28 September, a M6.8 aftershock occurred to the north at a depth of 14.8 kilometres (9.2 miles), killing at least 22 people.[6][7]

Tectonic setting

On a broad scale, the tectonics of southern and central Pakistan reflect a complex plate boundary where the India plate slides northward relative to the Eurasia plate in the east, and the Arabia plate subducts northward beneath the Eurasia plate in the Makran (western Pakistan). These motions typically result in north-south to northeast-southwest strike-slip motion at the latitude of the 24 September earthquake that is primarily accommodated on the Chaman Fault, with the earthquake potentially occurring on one of the southern-most strands of this fault system. Further, more in-depth studies will be required to identify the precise fault associated with this event. Although seismically active, this portion of the Eurasia plate boundary region has not experienced large damaging earthquakes in recent history. In the past 40 years, only one significant event has occurred within 200 kilometres (120 mi) of this event, which was a Mw 6.1 earthquake in July 1990 that killed six people.[8]

Earthquake

USGS ShakeMap showing for the event

The United States Geological Survey reported that the earthquake took place on Tuesday 24 September 2013 at 11:29:48 UTC. The depth was reported to be 15 kilometres (9.3 mi). The earthquake reportedly lasted about a minute, causing panic in cities of southern Pakistan such as Karachi and Hyderabad.[9]

The earthquake in occurred as the result of oblique-strike-slip type motion at shallow crustal depths. The location and mechanism of the earthquake are consistent with rupture within the Eurasia plate above the Makran Trench subduction zone. The event occurred within the transition zone between northward subduction of the Arabian plate beneath the Eurasia plate and northward collision of the India plate with the Eurasia plate.[8]

Damage

The earthquake killed at least 825 people and injured hundreds of others.[2] The earthquake struck a sparsely populated region of Pakistan. Most homes and buildings in the region are constructed of mud bricks and collapsed during the earthquake and aftershocks. An official in the Balochistan province claimed that 80 percent of the homes in the Awaran District had collapsed or were damaged.[10] In the regional capital Quetta, some areas appeared to be badly damaged.[11][12] Officials from the Balochistan government estimated that at least 21,000 houses had been completely destroyed by the tremor, while some areas remained beyond the reach of rescue services 48 hours after the initial quake.[3]

PAGER impact estimates from the United States Geological Survey included a red alert level for initial shaking-related fatalities (35% chance of 1,000–10,000 fatalities, 27% chance of 10,000–100,000 fatalities) and an orange alert level for economic impact (35% chance of US$100 million–$1 billion, 26% chance of US$1–10 billion).[13]

The earthquake was felt in major cities across Pakistan, including Karachi, Hyderabad, Rawalpindi/Islamabad, Larkana, and Lahore.[9] The quake was also felt in Delhi, India, where some buildings shook,[14] and Muscat, Oman—800 kilometres (500 mi) from the epicenter—where mild tremors shook tables and cabinets.[15] The earthquake shook in the parts of UAE, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and as far as Qatar.[16] The earthquake also shook Saravan, Iran without causing any damage or casualties.[17] There were also minor tremors and aftershocks in the United Arab Emirates.[18]

Ground effects

Satellite images of Zalzala Jazeera off the coast of Gwadar

The earthquake was apparently powerful enough to raise a small island, later dubbed Zalzala Jazeera, meaning "quake island", in the Arabian Sea, variously reported as being 350 metres (1,150 ft) to 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) off the shore of Gwadar.[12][19][20] The island is partially composed of rock, but mostly consists of mud and sand. The oval-shaped island was 60–70 feet (18–21 m) high and about 200–300 feet (61–91 m) long according to local people that visited the island the day after it appeared. They noticed a smell of gas and managed to ignite it, later extinguishing it with difficulty.[19]

The island is believed to be the result of a mud volcano.[21] In the region, deposits of frozen gas hydrates—which have a large methane content—exist beneath 300 to 800 metres (980–2,620 ft) of compressed sediment.[19] After such a large earthquake, the gas hydrates converted from frozen to gaseous form through the heat of friction and either raised the overlaying sediment enough to create fissures through which it escaped or rose through fissures resulting from the earthquake itself. Another possible contributing factor in the island's creation was the liquefaction of the seabed, which allowed finer, loosely packed sediments to become liquid-like and squeeze up through fissures in overlying compressed sediment. Locals who ventured to the island shortly after it formed heard a hissing noise at one end and started a fire which was difficult to extinguish. There are several mud volcanoes inland near Zalzala Jazeera and they are common in the vicinity of subducting plate boundaries; in fact, similar islands have appeared in the same region following earthquakes in 1945, 1999, 2001, and 2010. Because of its composition of softer sediments, the sea was predicted to erode the island completely within a few months.[19] By the end of 2016, the island had completely disappeared.[22]

Aftershocks

Aftermath

On 26 September, two days after the disaster, two rockets were fired at a helicopter carrying Maj. Gen. Muhammad Saeed Aleem, the National Disaster Management Authority chairman, as well as other officials and members of the media. Government sources blamed Balochi separatists, who are very active in the Awaran area.[3]

See also

References

  1. ^ "825 dead, relief slow to reach Balochistan quake victims". Dunya News. 4 October 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Balochistan quake: toll jumps to 825". The Nation (Pakistan). 1 October 2013. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "Pakistan quake death toll rises to 350". CNN. 26 September 2013. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  4. ^ "Pakistan: Death toll in the earthquake rises to 515". The Indian Express. 27 September 2013.
  5. ^ "More than 100,000 left homeless after Pakistan earthquake". Al Jazeera. 27 September 2013.
  6. ^ "M6.8 - 96 kilometres NNE of Awaran, Pakistan". United States Geological Survey. 28 September 2013.
  7. ^ Agence France Presse (28 September 2013). "Powerful new Pakistan earthquake kills at least 22". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  8. ^ a b  This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Geological Survey document: "M7.7 - 63km NNE of Awaran, Pakistan".
  9. ^ a b Menon, Meena (24 September 2013). "Quake in southern Pakistan kills 2, damages houses". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  10. ^ "At least 208 killed in Balochistan earthquake". Dawn. 25 September 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
  11. ^ Yusufzai, Gul (24 September 2013). "Quake kills 45 in Pakistan, creates new island in sea". Reuters. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  12. ^ a b "Deadly earthquake strikes Pakistan's Balochistan". BBC News. 25 September 2013. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  13. ^ "M7.8 – 69km NNE of Awaran, Pakistan (BETA)". Earthquake Hazards Program. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  14. ^ "Powerful earthquake strikes Pakistan's Balochistan". BBC News. 25 September 2013. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  15. ^ Vaidya, Sunil. "Tremors from Pakistan quake felt in Muscat". gulfnews.com. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  16. ^ "New photos of Pakistan's 'Earthquake Island'". Fox News. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  17. ^ "Strong Quake in Pakistan Spares Southeast Iran". Tasnim News Agency. 25 September 2013.
  18. ^ "Earthquake jolts Pakistan, tremors felt in". Gulf News. 28 September 2013.
  19. ^ a b c d Khan, Ilyas (27 September 2013). "Pakistan quake island off Gwadar 'emits flammable gas'". BBC News. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  20. ^ "Island discovered as a result of earthquake in Pakistan". IBNLive.in.com. Press Trust of India. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  21. ^ "Satellites reveal new views of Pakistan's 'Earthquake Island'". NBC News. 1 October 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
  22. ^ "Gwadar's quake island disappears". DAWN.COM. 31 December 2016. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  23. ^ "M 5.8 - 89km NNE of Awaran, Pakistan". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  24. ^ "M 5.6 - 102km NNE of Awaran, Pakistan". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  25. ^ "M5.5 – 78km NNE of Awaran, Pakistan". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  26. ^ "M6.8 - 85km NNE of Awaran, Pakistan". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 28 September 2013.

Sources

External links

4 September 1971

Alaska Airlines Flight 1866 crashes near Juneau, Alaska, killing all 111 people on board.

Alaska Airlines Flight 1866
Boeing 727-193, Pacific Air Lines JP6858513.jpg
N2969G, the aircraft involved in the accident, seen at San Francisco International Airport in 1967, while still operating with Pacific Air Lines
Accident
DateSeptember 4, 1971 (1971-09-04)
SummaryControlled flight into terrain due to navigational error and pilot error
SiteHaines Borough, Alaska
58°21′42″N 135°10′12″W / 58.361666°N 135.170000°W / 58.361666; -135.170000Coordinates: 58°21′42″N 135°10′12″W / 58.361666°N 135.170000°W / 58.361666; -135.170000
Aircraft
Aircraft typeBoeing 727-193
OperatorAlaska Airlines
IATA flight No.AS1866
ICAO flight No.ASA1866
Call signALASKA 66
RegistrationN2969G
Flight originTed Stevens Anchorage International Airport, Anchorage, Alaska
1st stopoverMerle K. (Mudhole) Smith Airport, Cordova, Alaska
2nd stopoverYakutat Airport, Yakutat, Alaska
3rd stopoverJuneau International Airport, Juneau, Alaska
Last stopoverSitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport, Sitka, Alaska
DestinationSeattle-Tacoma International Airport, Seattle, Washington
Occupants111
Passengers104
Crew7
Fatalities111
Survivors0

Alaska Airlines Flight 1866 was a regularly scheduled passenger flight operated by Alaska Airlines from Anchorage, Alaska, to Seattle, Washington, with several intermediate stops in southeast Alaska. On September 4, 1971, the aircraft operating the flight crashed into a mountain in Haines Borough, about 18 miles west of Juneau, Alaska while on approach for landing. All 111 people aboard were killed.[1] It was the first fatal jet aircraft crash involving Alaska Airlines, and remained the deadliest single-aircraft accident in United States history until June 24, 1975, when Eastern Air Lines Flight 66 crashed.[2]

Flight Crew

The Captain of the flight was Richard C. Adams, age 41. Adams had 13,870 flight hours, including 2,688 hours on the Boeing 727. Piloting the aircraft at the time of the accident was First Officer Leonard D. Beach, age 32. Beach had 5,000 flight hours, with 2,100 of them on the Boeing 727.[3]:46James J. Carson, age 30, was the Second Officer and had 2,850 flight hours, including about 2,600 hours on the Boeing 727.[3]:46 Beach and Carson were both hired by Alaska Airlines in 1966, and Adams had been with the airline since 1955.[3]:46 The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) later determined that all three flight crew members were current and qualified to operate the flight, and there was no evidence of any conditions which would have adversely affected the performance of their duties.

Aircraft

The aircraft was a Boeing 727-100 with U.S. registry N2969G[4] manufactured in 1966 as c/n 19304 (Manufacturer's Serial Number 287). It was initially operated by Pacific Air Lines, which later became part of Hughes Airwest. On April 8, 1970, ownership of the aircraft was transferred to Hughes. Shortly thereafter, on September 25, 1970 Hughes leased it to Alaska Airlines. It had accumulated 11,344 flight hours at the time of the accident.[3]:48[5] The aircraft was powered by three Pratt & Whitney JT8D-7B turbofan engines.[2] The NTSB determined that the aircraft and engines were properly maintained and in good working order at the time of the accident.[3]

Accident flight

On September 4, 1971, Alaska Airlines Flight 1866 (Air Traffic Control call sign "Alaska 66") was scheduled to depart Anchorage, Alaska (ANC), with intermediate stops in Cordova (CDV), Yakutat (YAK), Juneau (JNU), and Sitka, Alaska (SIT) before continuing to Seattle, Washington (SEA). The flight departed ANC on time at 9:13 a.m. and the first stop at CDV was uneventful, apart from a minor issue with a cargo door which caused a short delay. The aircraft departed CDV at 10:34 and landed at YAK at 11:07. The next leg of the route to JNU, the accident flight, departed YAK at 11:35 a.m. with 104 passengers and 7 crew aboard.[3]:3

At 11:46 the crew contacted Anchorage air traffic control and reported they were at Flight Level 230 (FL230 or 23,000 feet), 65 miles (104 km) east of Yakutat. The controller issued a clearance to descend at pilots' discretion to cross the PLEASANT intersection at 10,000 feet, and gave them a clearance limit of HOWARD intersection. The controller then gave them the current altimeter setting at JNU and requested they report passing 11,000 feet in the descent.

At 11:51 the crew informed the controller they were leaving FL230 descending to be level at 10,000 feet at PLEASANT intersection.[3]:3

At 11:54 the controller instructed the crew to stop their descent at 12,000 feet and changed the clearance limit to PLEASANT intersection where they could expect to hold. They reported level at 12,000 feet less than a minute later. The controller explained that he had to change the clearance due to another aircraft in the airspace near JNU. A Piper PA-23 Apache, N799Y, had departed JNU at 11:44 en route to Whitehorse and had reported in the vicinity of HOWARD intersection. The Piper's altitude was unknown and there was some confusion as to the route it was supposed to be flying. Flight 1866 acted as a communication relay between the controller and N799Y for several transmissions.[3]:3–4

At 11:58 the flight reported passing PLEASANT and entering the holding pattern there. The controller acknowledged the report and re-cleared them to HOWARD intersection. He then asked them to confirm they were still level at 12,000 feet and asked if they were "on top" of the clouds at that altitude. The crew replied they were level at 12,000, but in the clouds and "on instruments".

At 12:00, the controller repeated the new clearance limit to hold at HOWARD, and told them they could expect to hold there until 12:10. At 12:01 the crew reported entering the holding pattern at HOWARD at 12,000 feet.

At 12:07, the controller asked for their current location in the holding pattern, and direction from HOWARD. The crew reported they were turning on the inbound leg of the hold, joining the localizer course inbound towards HOWARD. The controller then cleared the flight for the straight-in LDA approach to Runway 8 and instructed them to cross HOWARD inbound at or below 9,000 feet. The crew acknowledged the clearance and reported leaving 12,000 feet. The LDA approach consisted of a localizer providing horizontal guidance to the crew. Vertical guidance was provided by instructions on the approach chart; the procedure involved descending to various published altitudes upon crossing specific intersections between the localizer and a nearby VOR station. The localizer was not equipped with distance measuring equipment at the time of the accident.

At 12:08, the Anchorage controller asked them to report their current altitude and the crew responded, "...leaving five thousand five... four thousand five hundred." The crew was then instructed to contact Juneau Tower. The crew acknowledged the transmission and changed to the tower frequency. The flight checked on to the tower frequency, reporting over BARLOW intersection. The tower controller replied, "Alaska 66, understand...I didn't copy the intersection...," and continued his transmission, giving them the current weather conditions and runway in use, and asked them to report over BARLOW. Part of this transmission was recorded on the CVR of the flight, however the recording ended partway through the transmission. There were no further transmissions from Flight 1866.[3]:4

At approximately 12:15 the aircraft struck the eastern slope of a canyon in the Chilkat Range of the Tongass National Forest at the 2500-foot level, 18.5 miles west of Juneau. The aircraft exploded on impact. According to the CVR and FDR, there was not even "a last-second awareness" among the crew that a collision with terrain was imminent.

When the crew stopped responding JNU tower notified local authorities in Juneau, who immediately began a search for the aircraft. A few hours later, the wreckage was located on the eastern slope of the Chilkat ridge, west of Juneau airport at the coordinates 58°21′42″N 135°10′12″W / 58.36167°N 135.17000°W / 58.36167; -135.17000. There were no survivors.[3]:4–5[6]

Two witnesses in the area of the Chilkat Mountains stated that they heard a low-flying jet aircraft, but could not see it because of clouds and low visibility, which they estimated at 200–300 feet. They described the sound of the engines as normal. A short time later they heard an explosion. A third witness in the area saw a low flying plane disappear into the clouds, but did not report hearing any sound.

Investigation

The U.S. NTSB investigated the accident. The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and flight data recorder (FDR) were recovered from the crash site and read out. The wreckage was inspected, and pertinent items were removed for further study by both the NTSB and the various manufacturers. After determining that there were no apparent issues with the crew's qualifications or the aircraft, their investigation focused on the navigational equipment and techniques used for the approach. Both navigation radio receivers on the aircraft were found to be in good working order, and all ground-based navigation stations were likewise operating properly. From the CVR recording it was determined that the crew did not use the audio identification features of the navigation radios. Further, they did not use all available navigational aids to help determine their position, though it is noted that the approach they were performing did not specifically require the use of those facilities. In addition the NTSB found there was potentially a lack of crew coordination between the two pilots in their navigation radio tuning procedures. Based on the crew's conversation and the flight's erroneous position report over BARLOW intersection, the NTSB noted that the Captain's navigation radio had apparently presented the crew with consistently false information at several points along the approach path. No reason for the false indications could be determined. The NTSB also found that ATC had used proper procedures in handling flight 1866. The small aircraft that entered the airspace during their descent might have been a distraction for both the controller and the pilots.

The NTSB Final Report was released on October 11, 1972. The investigation found that the following factors contributed to the accident:

Findings:

# The aircraft was certificated, maintained, and loaded properly and there was no failure or malfunction of the aircraft, powerplants, or control systems.

  1. The crew was certificated and qualified for the operation.
  2. Air traffic control handling of AS66 was appropriate and in accordance with prescribed procedures and standards.
  3. The issuance of an incorrect clearance to N799Y caused this aircraft to stray into airspace where its presence caused an additional traffic control workload from a separation as well as communications standpoint.
  4. Involvement in the N799Y activities and awareness of the uncertainty about that aircraft's whereabouts and intentions might have created a distraction for the crew of AS66.
  5. The crew did not use audio identification procedures when tuning in the pertinent navigational facilities.
  6. It could not be established that effective crew coordination took place when the first officer changed his VHF navigational frequency from the VOR to the localizer and requested the captain to tune in the VOR.
  7. The crew was subjected to seemingly correct but erroneous navigational information which led to a premature descent into obstructing terrain.
  8. There was no altimetry system malfunction.
  9. The display of the intersections that delineate the Juneau localizer approach were displaced about 35°- 40° counterclockwise, based on the recorded callouts by the crew.
  10. The captain's VOR receiver was tuned to the Juneau localizer at impact, and the associated frequency selector had been manipulated just prior to impact.
  11. There was no evidence indicating that the crew used all available navigational facilities to check the flight's progress along the localizer.
  12. Flight tests and other research failed to disclose a Sisters Island VOR malfunction which would have accounted for a large bearing error on the day of the accident.
  13. Examinations and tests of the recovered aircraft's avionics equipment revealed no evidence of other than normal operation.
  14. Research into the compatibility of Doppler VOR transmitters and the existing aircraft that would indicate any discrepancy in this navigational receivers revealed no information area.
    — NTSB final report

The probable cause of the accident was the following:[3]:41

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was a display of misleading navigational information concerning the flight's progress along the localizer course which resulted in a premature descent below obstacle clearance altitude. The origin or nature of the misleading navigational information could not be determined. The Board further concludes that the crew did not use all available navigational aids to check the flight's progress along the localizer nor were these aids required to be used. The crew also did not perform the required audio identification of the pertinent navigational facilities.

— NTSB final report

Notes

The NTSB investigation examined the idea that some sort of military radio jamming technology could have contributed to the apparent false indications of the navigational radios before the accident. The report found no evidence that such interference had taken place and it was discounted as a possible cause. Interestingly, this type of problem is used as a plot device in famed aviation writer Ernest K. Gann's 1973 novel Band of Brothers. In the book a Boeing 727 crashes after receiving false navigational information as a result of military radio jamming.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Alaska Airlines - HistoryLink.org". Retrieved January 14, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Aircraft Accident Report - Alaska Airlines, Inc., B-727, N2969G, near Juneau, Alaska, September 4, 1971" (PDF). National Transportation Safety Board. October 13, 1972. NTSB-AAR-72-28. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  4. ^ "NTSB Identification: DCA72AZ003". www.ntsb.gov. National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  5. ^ "Pacific Air Lines Boeing 727-169 N2969G (c/n 19304)". Retrieved October 9, 2014.
  6. ^ "Advanced Search Result". B3A Aircraft Accidents Archives. Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved October 22, 2014.

External links

4 September 1797

Coup of 18 Fructidor in France.

The Coup of 18 Fructidor, Year V, was a seizure of power by members of the French Directory on 4 September 1797 when their opponents, the Royalists, were gaining strength. Howard G. Brown, Professor of History at Binghamton University, stresses the turn toward dictatorship and the failure of liberal democracy under the Directory, blaming it on “chronic violence, ambivalent forms of justice, and repeated recourse to heavy-handed repression.

Three Directors, Paul Barras, Jean-François Rewbell and Louis Marie de La Révellière-Lépeaux, staged the coup d’état with support from the military.[2] Royalist candidates had gained the great majority of seats in the recent elections, where a third of the seats were at stake. They were poised to win the next round of elections and assume control of the Directory.

Jean-Charles Pichegru, a figure widely assumed to be acting in sympathy to the monarchy and its restoration, was elected President of the Council of Five Hundred. After documentation of Pichegru’s treasonous activities was supplied by Napoleon Bonaparte, the Directors accused the entire body of plotting against the Revolution and moved quickly to annul the elections and arrest the royalists.

To support the coup, General Lazare Hoche, then commander of the Army of Sambre-et-Meuse, arrived in the capital with his troops, while Bonaparte sent troops under Pierre Augereau. Deputies were arrested and 53 were exiled to Cayenne in French Guiana. Since death from tropical disease was likely, it was referred to as the “dry guillotine”. The 42 opposition newspapers were closed. The chambers were purged, and elections were partly cancelled.

Among those deported to Cayenne were Pichegru, François Barbé-Marbois, François-Marie, marquis de Barthélemy and Amédée Willot. Lazare Carnot made good his escape. The two vacant places in the Directory were filled by Philippe Merlin de Douai and Nicolas-Louis François de Neufchâteau. The government then returned to Jacobin methods. The law against the relatives of émigrés was reenacted, and military tribunals were established to condemn émigrés who should return to France.

The nonjuring priests were again persecuted. Many hundreds were either sent to Cayenne or imprisoned in the hulks of Ré and Oléron. La Révellière-Lépeaux seized the opportunity to propagate his religion. Many churches were turned into Theophilanthropic temples. The government strained its power to secure the recognition of the décadi as the day of public worship and the non-observance of Sunday. Freedom of the press ceased, newspapers were confiscated and journalists were deported in large numbers. It was proposed to banish from France all members of the old noblesse, and though the proposal was dropped, they were all declared to be foreigners and were forced to obtain naturalisation in order to enjoy the rights of other citizens. A formal bankruptcy of the state, resulting in the cancelling of two-thirds of the interest on the public debt, crowned the misgovernment of this disastrous time.

4 September 1970

Salvador Allende is elected as the President of Chile.

c7333e7d.allendeElection_800x554

Salvador Allende ran for the presidency for the first time in 1952 but was temporarily expelled from the Socialist Party for accepting the support of the outlawed Communists; he placed last in a four-man race. He ran again in 1958—with Socialist backing, as well as the support of the then-legal Communists—and was a close second to the Conservative-Liberal candidate, Jorge Alessandri. Again with the same support he was decisively defeated (1964) by the Christian Democrat Eduardo Frei. For his successful 1970 campaign Allende ran as the candidate of Popular Unity, a bloc of Socialists, Communists, Radicals, and some dissident Christian Democrats, leading in a three-sided race with 36.3 percent of the vote. Because he lacked a popular majority, however, his election had to be confirmed by Congress, in which there was strong opposition from the right. Nevertheless, it was confirmed on October 24, 1970, after he had guaranteed support to 10 libertarian constitutional amendments demanded by the Christian Democrats.

Inaugurated on November 3, 1970, Allende began to restructure Chilean society along socialist lines while retaining the democratic form of government and respecting civil liberties and the due process of law. He expropriated the U.S.-owned copper companies in Chile without compensation, an act which set him seriously at odds with the U.S. government and weakened foreign investors’ confidence in his government. His government also took steps to purchase several important privately owned mining and manufacturing sectors and to take over large agricultural estates for use by peasant cooperatives. In an attempt to redistribute incomes, he authorized large wage increases and froze prices. Allende also printed large amounts of unsupported currency to erase the fiscal deficit created by the government’s purchase of basic industries. By 1972 Chile was suffering from stagnant production, decreased exports and private-sector investment, exhausted financial reserves, widespread strikes, rising inflation, food shortages, and domestic unrest. International lines of credit from the United States and western Europe had completely dried up. Allende’s inability to control his own radical left-wing supporters further incurred the hostility of the middle class. In foreign affairs, he established relations with China and Cuba.