Constitución, Chile

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City and Commune
Coat of arms
Coat of arms
Map of the Constitución commune in the Maule Region
Map of the Constitución commune in the Maule Region
Location in Chile
Location in Chile
Location in Chile
Coordinates (city): 35°20′S 72°25′W / 35.333°S 72.417°W / -35.333; -72.417Coordinates: 35°20′S 72°25′W / 35.333°S 72.417°W / -35.333; -72.417
Country Chile
Region Maule
Province Talca
Founded 1794
 • Type Municipality
 • Alcalde Carlos Valenzuela Gajardo (UDI)
 • Total 1,343.6 km2 (518.8 sq mi)
Elevation 75 m (246 ft)
Population (2012 Census)[2]
 • Total 41,207
 • Density 31/km2 (79/sq mi)
 • Urban 37,202
 • Rural 8,879
Demonym Constitutano
 • Men 23,389
 • Women 22,692
Time zone CLT [3] (UTC-4)
 • Summer (DST) CLST [4] (UTC-3)
Area code(s) 56 + 71
Website Official website (Spanish)

Constitución (Spanish pronunciation: [konstituˈsjon]) is a seaside resort, industrial (paper and pulp) city, minor port and commune in Chile, located in the Maule Region, Talca Province.


According to the 2002 census of the National Statistics Institute, Constitución spans an area of 1,343.6 km2 (519 sq mi) and has 46,081 inhabitants (23,389 men and 22,692 women). Of these, 37,202 (80.7%) lived in urban areas and 8,879 (19.3%) in rural areas. The population grew by 14.2% (5,741 persons) between the 1992 and 2002 censuses.[2]


As a commune, Constitución is a third-level administrative division of Chile administered by a municipal council, headed by an alcalde who is directly elected every four years. The 2008-2012 alcalde is Hugo Tilleria Torres.[1]

Within the electoral divisions of Chile, Constitución is represented in the Chamber of Deputies by Pablo Lorenzini (PDC) and Pedro Pablo Alvarez-Salamanca (UDI) as part of the 38th electoral district, (together with Curepto, Empedrado, Pencahue, Maule, San Clemente, Pelarco, Río Claro and San Rafael). The commune is represented in the Senate by Juan Antonio Coloma Correa (UDI) and Andrés Zaldívar Larraín (PDC) as part of the 10th senatorial constituency (Maule-North).

8.8 magnitude 2010 earthquake[edit]

After the devastating 8.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Chile on 27 February 2010, an estimated 350 people died in Constitución from a tsunami.[5] Two weeks before the earthquake, the local people were trained to head for the hills if unable to stand during the tremor, as the likelihood of a tsunami was high.[6] The tsunami was estimated to be 15 m (49 ft) high.[7]

Pedro Muñoz, a fisherman, with his skiff, rescued celebrants of the end of summer from an island on the Maule River, making two trips between the island and the riverbank, before being swamped and killed by the third tsunami wave, on his third trip.[8]

Constitución was damaged by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Restoring power in the city in the immediate aftermath was impossible because of damage from the tsunami.[9]


  1. ^ a b "Municipality of Constitución" (in Spanish). Retrieved 1 January 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d "National Statistics Institute" (in Spanish). Retrieved 9 September 2010. 
  3. ^ "Chile Time". Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  4. ^ "Chile Summer Time". Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  5. ^ Time Magazine, "Chile: Prepared for the Quake but Not the Tsunami", Tim Padget, 1 March 2010 (accessed 4 March 2010)
  6. ^ Time Magazine, "Chile's President: Why Did Tsunami Warnings Fail?", Eben Harrell, 2 March 2010 (accessed 4 March 2010)
  7. ^ (French) Agencia Angola Press, "A Constitucion, l'eau est montée à 2 m dans les maisons, celles qui restent", 4 March 2010 (accessed 4 March 2010)
  8. ^ CNN, "Chilean fisherman faced tsunami to save others", Karl Penhaul, 9 March 2010 (accessed 9 March 2010)
  9. ^ Wall Street Journal, "Chile Power Firms: Slow Process Restoring Power In Quake Zones", Matthew Cowley, 2 March 2010 (accessed 3 March 2010)

External links[edit]