What we can Learn from the Survivors of Chile's April Earthquake

June 1, 2014

Earthquake Chile

Lately we’ve heard a lot about earthquakes in the news—and this one’s got to be the biggest one yet because it didn’t just cause the ground to shake. Did you know that powerful earthquakes often cause other natural disasters?

On Tuesday, April 1st, an 8.2 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of northern Chile. According to CNN’s article, “Powerful Earthquake Strikes off Chile Triggers Tsunami” this quake caused small landslides and power outages across Northern Chile. Tsunami-like waves were even generated during the quake, but thankfully, a full fledge tsunami did not hit the shore. The U.S. National Geological Survey evaluated the span and depth of the earthquake. It had a depth of 12.5 miles and coastal residents were asked to evacuate the area.

The most interesting part (in a preparedness standpoint) of CNN’s article came in a quote by Fabrizio Guzman, Chile’s World Vision emergency communications manager. He said that “many people are fearful after experiencing the powerful earthquake in 2010, so they immediately fled for higher ground when they heard the tsunami warning.”

We can learn from the example of the residents of this country. The citizens of northern Chile learned a valuable lesson from the 2010 earthquake that helped many survive when they heard the tsunami warning issued this time around. Once they heard the warning, they immediately left their homes.

Would you be able to do the same if you had to evacuate in an emergency? Would you be prepared with an emergency kit and supplies to help you until you could return to your home? I know it’s hard to leave all of your possessions and a home you’ve worked hard to earn, but if you had to leave, would you be able to do it to save yourself and your family?

To learn more about the recent earthquake in Chile, check out CNN’s article, “Powerful Earthquake Strikes off Chile, Triggers Tsunami.” And to learn more about earthquake and tsunami preparedness, check out these articles:

"Tsunami-like Waves Hit New Jersey"

"Preparing for Earthquakes

"What to do after an Earthquake

"Evacuating Home in an Emergency"

 -Angela


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