Friday, November 16, 2007

Earthquakes in Chile

So, a lot of people contacted me about the recent earthquakes in northern Chile. Thank you for your advanced concern that I am headed to a country whose entirety lies on a fault line. I pointed out to my mom that Seattle is overdue for a serious earthquake, Philadelphia technically lies near a fault, and I lived in L.A. Basically I don't feel at home unless there is the very real possibility that I will be knocked to the floor at 3 am by my building shaking and car alarms going off. So far the biggest earthquake I've endured was less than 5.0, so perhaps I am good luck (although the one earthquake I experienced while going to school in L.A. was actually while I was home in Seattle for Spring break, so go figure).

On a more serious note, what happened in northern Chile is quite sad, although it could have been much worse. The country is somewhat used to these disasters by now and a lot of the buildings are built to withstand the shakes. This is especially true in areas that have experienced destruction from a quake before. I will not be living so far north (I'm pretty much smack in the middle) but that doesn't put me at any less risk.

If you've been living under a rock, here's a link to an article about the events:

There were two aftershocks on Thursday, although I question calling 6.2 and 6.8 quakes "aftershocks" - those seem like they should count on their own. So far two people have died, which is of course terrible because the hope is always that there will be no casualties, but at the same time pretty amazing considering there were four quakes measuring over 6.0 in some of the poorest areas of the country.

All in all I'm not any more concerned about my trip. If anything it has renewed my respect for nature. Sometimes it's nice to be reminded that we can't control everything.

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