Buenos tardes! Good evening!
This past week has been quite the adventure here in Chile! Last Saturday, I experienced my first big earthquake in Chile. It registered as a 5.9 magnitude quake! It was an incredibly amazing, yet terrifying experience! Thankfully, I was at home and my host mom was quick to make sure everything was alright. It was fascinating to watch as the earth literally moved up and down!
Two days later on Monday, Chile experienced another, much larger earthquake. This one registered as a 6.9 magnitude; one of the biggest that has hit the country so far this year! Again, I was thankful to be home and safe with my Chilean family. The epicenter of the quake was right off the coast of Valparaíso, so the tsunami alert system was activated for preventative measures. Thankfully, there was no tsumani and minimal damage in Valparaíso and Viña del Mar. The most damage we had was a glass falling off the counter and shattering! In Chile, there are two words used for earthquakes; lesser earthquakes, usually below a 7 magnitude, are referred to a temblores and anything larger is a terremoto. According to my host family, this earthquake was just a temblor, even though to me it was huge!
For the next four days after the 6.9 magnitude quake, we were rocked with several tremors throughout the days and nights. For an American student who has never experienced an earthquake before, it was definitely a strange feeling! Over the course of the last week, we have experienced 70 earthquakes in Chile, with a majority of those centered around the epicenter of the big quake here in Valparaíso. Friday was especially scary, as the shaking was almost continuous and got to the point where my university cancelled afternoon classes and ISA shut down for the rest of the day!
I am thankful that we remained safe and now I know what to expect in the case that another earthquake hits while I am here! However, I am hoping that the shaking will hold off until the end of June when I return home; I have had enough earthquakes to last me a lifetime! Thank you to all my friends and family for your prayers and concern through this crazy time.
55 more days!