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Talcahuano (tälkäwäˈnō) [key], city (1990 est. pop. 246,900), S central Chile, a port on the Pacific Ocean, part of the Greater Concepción conurbation. On the best harbor along the Chilean coast, Talcahuano is an important naval base. It has a large fishing industry, and fish are canned and exported. It also has extensive dry-dock facilities, metallurgical plants, and petroleum refineries, and it handles the exporting of the agricultural products of the interior. Anchored in Talcahuano's harbor is the Peruvian warship Huascar, whose capture decisively established Chilean naval supremacy during the War of the Pacific (1879). The 2010 earthquake caused widespread destruction in the city, and the accompanying tsunami damaged the port facilities and fishing industry.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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