Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Chile earthquake aftershocks and recovery efforts

Matt Suggett, Mattsuggett.com, Aftershocks (text, maps). Matt, an American who has lived in Chile for the past year volunteering at an orphanage, describes the scene in Santiago in the aftermath of the big earthquake:
Walking back through the park, I see dozens of people sleeping in tents too scared to return into their shattered homes. I don't blame them. Aftershocks are abating, but we've suffered over 160 so far. Over 130 have been over 5.0 on the Richter scale, 9 of them have been over 6.0, and the strongest measured 6.9 (equivalent to the Haiti quake of last month). Each one is petrifying, like it's about to happen all over again. Everyone is watching out for the next big one. After the terror of the first earthquake, you develop a hypersensitivity to any vibration. As soon as I feel the floor start to pulse, and hear the building creak quietly, my heart stops. I tense up. It's a reaction of pure fear. I can't imagine how the tremors must feel to those still trapped in the rubble, or sheltering in a ruined, flooded house.

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