On the Earthquake In Santiago

Most Casual Kitchen readers know that Laura and I are here in Santiago to spend a few months improving our Spanish, and this post is just a quick, off-topic update to alert family and friends that we are safe and sound after last night's earthquake. It was one of the most surreal and frightening experiences we've ever had, and suffice it to say we expected to come to Santiago, Chile to learn Spanish, not to learn what it's like to experience a 7+ Richter magnitude earthquake at 3:30 in the morning.

A few words about the city of Santiago and how it weathered the quake. In our neighborhood of Providencia, there is little to no apparent damage to any of the buildings. The buildings and the city in general are made very well, and in our homestay host's home--other than a lot of broken plates and dishware (and the somewhat creepy fact that both the stove and refrigerator came unmoored and moved 2-3 feet across the kitchen floor)--there is surprisingly little damage.

But during the worst of the quake, we had no idea what to do. It was nearly impossible to stand up without holding onto something, and the main quake seemed to go on forever, accompanied by the sound of things falling and glass breaking throughout our homestay host's home.

Now, some 8 hours after the initial main tremor, there are still periodic aftershocks, a few of them disconcertingly strong. What's more disconcerting is how the ground has been vibrating, constantly, ever so slightly, for hours. It feels alive, for lack of a better word.

We are very lucky that Santiago is one of the most modern cities in the western hemisphere, but other cities in the country were not so lucky. Concepcion, for example, where a friend of ours lives, suffered much more damage and we are still awaiting word from her.

Right now, the city is quiet and except for the ground occasionally vibrating, you'd think it was a typical Saturday morning. The power is on, internet is on and the phones are working.

We'll share more on the situation here as things develop.

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20 comments:

southernmother said...

Thank you so much for your post. We have a dear friend who is only 18 living in Santiago at 702 Ave. Republica. We have not heard from her, and are quite concerned. Her name is Brooke Hardington. Do you know the area? Did it fare well? How do you recommend we try to reach Brooke? I'm twittering (which is how I found your blog) and we have email and FB. Her cell doesn't work in Chile, and the land line is down. Any help you can afford is so appreciated.

Daniel said...

Hello Southernmother, that area of the city is about 20-30 minutes' walk from where we are, so I am confident your friend is okay. We have not heard of any major building collapses or serious problems in our area. It is possible that power may still be out in some areas of the city however, so your friend may not be able to reach out yet.

DK

southernmother said...

Thank you thank you for this information. Her family really wants to hear from her as you can imagine. Anything anything you hear will be so appreciated. May you continue to be safe...and thank you so much for posting.

Julia said...

Thank you for the update! Glad you are well.

MikeV @ DadCooksDinner said...

I'm glad to hear you and your wife are OK. We wish you the best, and you (and everyone else in Chile) are in our prayers.

Stacie said...

Glad to hear you all are ok. That experience sure sounds really scary. The ground vibrating sounds kind creepy. Hope you hear from your friend soon.

southernmother said...

Have now heard from our Brooke! We are thrilled! Thanks for your information and encouragement. Be safe!

MCM Voices said...

It's a relief to hear that you and Laura are safe - and Brooke too! How helpless one must feel - there is no power like that of Mother Nature.

Jeff D said...

They are saying this quake is 500 times stronger than the Haiti quake. Hawaii is waiting for the tsunamis at around 4pm EST (2pm here right now.)

And never mind 7+, that was almost a 9 (8.8)

Glad to hear Santiago seems to have survived without huge damage, I hope the news is similar elsewhere.

Melissa said...

Thank you so much for the update Dan. Thinking about you guys.

Katie said...

As a regular reader, I'm glad to hear you and Laura are ok. Thank you for posting!

Joanne said...

Hey Dan, so glad to hear you are okay. I promise to shoot you back a real email soon in response to yours but I just wanted to comment here first. Thanks for the submission to Regional Recipes! Stay safe!

kittiesx3 said...

VERY glad to hear you two are OK.

Anonymous said...

Hi Daniel and Laura. As we heard about the earthquake we thought about you. We're glad you are well. Denis & Eleonora

Erin from Long Island said...

I am very happy to hear the news that you guys, and Brooke, are ok! I was very worried, especially after the CNN footage I saw. I can only imagine how terrifying that was/is

Daniel said...

Let me thank everyone here for your good wishes and good thoughts. We are grateful!!

And a few extra words about Chile: we've been deeply impressed by the good spirits of the Chilenos. This is an amazing country with amazing people, and while we don't exactly feel lucky to have experienced a record terremoto, we feel lucky to be here in this special place.

DK

cuspdesigns said...

Glad to hear you are well. Our thoughts are with you and your friends today and in the days ahead....

Chloe said...

Hello Daniel,
I am a long time reader of your blog (1st comment though) and just wanted to write and say that i am so glad you and your wife are safe.
Very best
Chloe xx

Leigh Shulman said...

So glad you're both doing well. Thank you for the update! And take care of yourself. I'm following on Twitter and here to see how things go.

Fred and Roberta said...

Dan and Laura, we were so relieved to hear from Gail that you were okay. We will keep you and your friends in our thoughts and prayers in the ensuing days and weeks. Be safe.