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The Chilean Earthquake Of 2010

You probably want to know what’s going on with the Chilean Earthquake. Well I’m in Chile right now and I will tell you everything I can!

Let’s start with the basic details: this last Chilean earthquake occurred on Saturday 27th of February 2010 at 3:34 am. The intensity was between 8.6 and 8.8 on the Richter scale and lasted over 2 minutes.

The epicenter of the earthquake was in Cobquecura, which is 150 kms northeast of Concepción. Cauquenes is located 63 kms southwest of the epicenter and was also very affected.


The earthquake was felt from the fifth region in the north to the ninth in the south These are the regions of Valparaiso, Metropolitana de Santiago, O´Higgins, Maule, Biobío and Araucania. This is 80% of the population that was affected; around 13 million people live in these regions.

Like I said before the most affected regions are the Maule and the Biobio regions, which include the cities of Constitución, Concepción, Cobquecura, Dichato, Duao, Curanipe, Cauquenes, and Talcahuano, among others. Some of these cities were almost completely destroyed in part by the earthquake but also from a tsunami that hit the coast.

In the other regions, (Araucania, O´Higgins and Metropolitana), had some damages but not half as bad as the damages in the cities mentioned above. In other areas the earthquake had an intensity of only 7.5 on the Richter scale.

The aftershocks were felt very soon after the major shock and progressively became less frequent as time passed. As I write this (about two days later) there are only two or three a day, but in the first 48 hours some 120 aftershocks had been registered.

The problem now is the people's hysteria to get food and water. The news on TV only show the disasters and destruction of the houses and how people are breaking into closed stores and supermarkets to get food and water. In my opinion that is fine for those poor people that are left with nothing but the clothes they were wearing when this happened. But what I find unacceptable about this Chilean earthquake is to see people looting and pillaging in cities that didn’t have so much destruction and they are taking advantage of the situation like when you see people taking TV’s from the stores.

Luckily that is all being controlled now and in the disaster areas there is now a curfew at night and people found on the streets are arrested. That has calmed everything down. The curfew is in Concepción and Talca and it is now from 6pm to 12 noon.

Here, were I live in Temuco the first couple of days there was this hysteria in the people who thought that the food and water was going to run out because of the damages to the main highway that connects the whole country. So everyone went to the supermarket and bought everything off the shelves: canned food, flour, water, bread etc, the line ups at each teller had around 50 people and cars were lined up in the streets waiting to go in the supermarket.

People came out of the supermarket with 4 carts of food. It was crazy!

Service stations ran out of gas and at those that still had some left line ups were literally kilometers long -- I mean 200 cars waiting to get gas and then, they were rationed to no more than about 10 US dollars worth of gas.

Since this earthquake hit at the end of the summer vacations, there were many people trying to fill up so they could drive back to their homes up north.

Another problem that this Chilean earthquake had was that there were widespread concerns that gangs of delinquents were threatening to loot homes in the night. Neighbors banded together, and using whatever guns or any other weapons they might find, set up patrols all night long to guard their homes. The curfew together with military patrols helped a lot with this situation but people were still very disturbed over those threats.

In some places you would see people selling bread and water at exaggerated prices trying to profit from the insane desire of people to buy everything they could. I guess there are always people who try to take advantage however they can. I’ve also heard about people opening up accounts on Facebook asking people to donate money but with no intentions of using the money for what they say it’s for.

Ok, so now you that you've heard the ugly parts of this Chilean earthquake let’s take a look and the up-side of what people are doing. Now keep reading and see the wonderful side of the people in Chile .

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