As the world is now fully aware, Chile suffered a massive 8.8-point earthquake at 3:34 AM on Saturday, February 27, 2010. Some 80% of the country felt the impact that left some sectors nearly decimated and others barely touched. Chile is no stranger to earthquakes. It holds the record for the world’s worst—9.5 points in Valdivia in May 1960. Chile—and Chileans—are prepared to meet nature’s wrath square on, and thanks to appropriate technology and a culture of preparedness (turn off the gas, turn on the water, open the door, stand in the doorway, get outside, get to high ground), the country has been able to withstand a fury that would have brought most other countries to their figurative knees.
Earthquake: A Personal View
Here’s a bit of my story as experienced in Concón, on Chile’s Pacific coast, just north of Viña del Mar (see the map below). It’s far less dramatic than many, but it’s also good for people to know that the entire country has not collapsed. Continue reading