The people of Chile went through another nightmarish day on Sunday when an earthquake was felt in the southern part of the country. They did not wait for an outcome of the earthquake but packed their bags and evacuated their homes heading for safer regions. The earthquake had a -7.1 magnitude and fortunately did nota make any victims or destroy any property. But still bearing in mind last years’ -8.8.earthquake and the following tsunami people were reluctant to stay in the region.
On February 27th 2010, an earthquake and its’ resulting tsunami killed over 521 people. 200,000 homes were destroyed so this time no reassuring report from experts could stop the southern population of Chile from eloping to safer areas.
It seems that last year’s earthquake was so strong that according to Sergio Barreintos, director of seismology office at the University of Chile, Sunday’s earthquake was in fact an after shock of the February 2010 earthquake. The Sunday earthquake was followed by a magnitude -5.0 aftershock and about 50,000 people in regions like Puerto Saavedra, Toletna and did not wait and fled to higher grounds. The earthquake was centered in the very region of La Araucania but the damages suffered were quite minor as compared to last year’s earthquake: the electrical power went off in some areas and there was a short period of time during which there was no cell phone connection.
People were immediately reassured by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii that there was no tsunami following the earthquake and that there will be no more after shocks. But the reassuring reports were not sufficient as even tourists on holiday at Chilean resorts celebrating New Years packed their bags and left.