Saturday, February 12, 2011


Today (well technically yesterday, seeing how it's past midnight) a 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Chile. The quake was felt from Valparaíso (a city northwest of Santiago) down to the Lake District in the south (where I was last week). My roommate, Paula, told me she felt the quake around 5pm while at work.

If you're wondering if I felt the earthquake the answer is no. In fact, I only heard about the earthquake while browsing on

As I'm sure you all remember, in February of last year there was a major 8.8-magnitude earthquake in Chile, claiming the lives of hundreds. Parts of Chile are still in the rebuilding phase. On January 2, 2011 there was a 7.1-magnitude earthquake in Southern Chile.

Since I've been in Chile I have only felt one earthquake, if you could even call it that. It was really only a temblor (Spanish for 'tremor').

The only major earthquake I have experienced was the '89 Loma Prieta earthquake in California. It measured 6.9 on the Richter Scale and resulted in the deaths of 63 people, many due to the collapsing of infrastructure.

I was 5 years old.

So, it has been a long time since I have experienced an intense earthquake. I think about earthquakes more often than I should. Every time I feel any sort of tremble I hold my breath. On a few occassions the mere thought of an earthquake can keep me up at night. But I guess that is to be expected for someone who is a worrier like myself. Especially when you consider that I'm living along the Ring of Fire in a country that holds the record for the strongest earthquake ever recorded (9.5) and has almost 500 (active) volcanoes.

I guess it's a good thing there aren't any volcanoes near Santiago. The threat of one natural disaster is more than enough for me.

1 comment:

  1. May you always be where the earth isn't doing weird stuff.

    For a daily view of tremblor in your area, it is almost a daily event around Chile.

    No need to have a contant worry though, Chile has had LOTS of experience and has built to withstand almost anything.

    >David Applegate, he's senior science adviser of earthquake and geologic hazards at the U.S. Geological Survey <

    "One of the -- the great strengths for Chile has been the fact that, with their history of earthquakes, there is a lot of awareness. They have some of the best building codes outside of the U.S. or Japan."

    >quoted from here: <