We’ve been without water and electricity the last few days. As there is no electricity in our general part of the city (the north) there is also no gas at the stations (no pumps), so we’ve been mostly home bound. At the house we have the swimming pool water to use for flushing the toilets and for washing dishes, so we’ve been relatively well off. We bbqed the defrosting meet from the freezer so it wouldn’t go bad, and we have plenty of fruits and vegetables. We were down to our last bottle of drinkable water, but on a excursion to the ‘hood we found a store open and were able to re-supply with plenty of water. We’ do have gas for the stove, so we’ve been able to eat well. We have candles for the evening but basically have been going to bed with the sun. The moon has been full these last few days, which has made the nights calming.
The aftershocks are very frequent, surely we must have had 50 or more by now… they come with such frequency that sometimes we don’t even bother to mention them. They are thankfully all smaller and decreasing further in intensity each time they appear. Sunday morning there was a aftershock that was pretty long, and we jocked that “in a normal climate, that would have been a big one”… we later heard that it was a 6.0 and was nearby in Valparaiso, indeed, a big one by normal standards but for us that is now a baby-quake!
Our immediate family and friends all seem to be fine—we don’t have good phone access as our cell phones are dead. Today i’m at a relative’s in Santiago so that I can call family in a few hours (when pacific coast wakes up), and reports are that by and large folks are ok, even our cousin and her 6 children from Curico, which is very very close to the epicenter. Their town (Curico) got pretty flattened, but their house and the houses of their friends and colleagues from the farm were thankfully all ok.
Unfortunately some of our extended family were touched by this tragedy in the worst way possible–a cousin lost two young children to a tsunami wave, they were very close to the epicenter vacationing. We will try to go to the mass this weekend with other family members. Our thoughts and prayers are with the parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles.
Thank you to everyone that has emailed us with concern and well wishes—it has been very comforting to receive your notes. Chile is generally well prepared for earthquakes because they are so common here, but even with great construction codes the devastation is palpable, even though I have seen almost nothing on the television or web (as we have been without electricity), so at this point you all know more than we do.
Forest, Cristina, the boys, and Tata Emilio who is with us.