Readers: Chilean Earthquake Request

Photo by djdroga on Flickr

Photo by djdroga on Flickr

If you have any news from friends or family who have been affected by the earthquake in the south of Chile, we would be happy to post.

In the meantime, we offer the updates below and a poem from Pablo Neruda.

Update @ 9.11: Comment from Beatriz Manz, who now lives in Berkeley, and lived through the 9.5 earthquake in Chile: It hit Valdivia where I was in a boarding school, May 22, 1960, early afternoon. it was interminable. If this one is 1,000 bigger that Haiti’s 7.0 I am not sure mathematically how much bigger mine was compared to today’s or Haiti’s. I think the 9.5 is the highest recorded in history and it reached the highest point in the Richter scale so who knows how strong it may have been….there were tsunamis all the way to Japan…

Pablo Neruda.

Things Get Broken
translated by Jodey Bateman

Things get broken
at home
like they were pushed
by an invisible, deliberate smasher.
It’s not my hands
or yours
It wasn’t the girls
with their hard fingernails
or the motion of the planet.
It wasn’t anything or anybody
It wasn’t the wind
It wasn’t the orange-colored noontime
Or night over the earth
It wasn’t even the nose or the elbow
Or the hips getting bigger
or the ankle
or the air.
The plate broke, the lamp fell
All the flower pots tumbled over
one by one. That pot
which overflowed with scarlet
in the middle of October,
it got tired from all the violets
and another empty one
rolled round and round and round
all through winter
until it was only the powder
of a flowerpot,
a broken memory, shining dust.
And that clock
whose sound
was
the voice of our lives,
the secret
thread of our weeks,
which released
one by one, so many hours
for honey and silence
for so many births and jobs,
that clock also
fell
and its delicate blue guts
vibrated
among the broken glass
its wide heart
unsprung.

Life goes on grinding up
glass, wearing out clothes
making fragments
breaking down
forms
and what lasts through time
is like an island on a ship in the sea,
perishable
surrounded by dangerous fragility
by merciless waters and threats.

Let’s put all our treasures together
— the clocks, plates, cups cracked by the cold —
into a sack and carry them
to the sea
and let our possessions sink
into one alarming breaker
that sounds like a river.
May whatever breaks
be reconstructed by the sea
with the long labor of its tides.
So many useless things
which nobody broke
but which got broken anyway.

Update @ 9:30 a.m. from Beatriz in Berkeley.

A list of other major earthquakes (compiled from the U.S. Geological Survey).

Strongest earthquakes

May 22, 1960: Magnitude 9.5 earthquake killed 1,655, injured 3,000, left 2,000,00 homeless, and caused $550 million damage in southern Chile; while the ensuing tsunami caused 61 deaths, $75 million damage in Hawaii; 138 deaths and $50 million damage in Japan; 32 dead and missing in the Philippines; and $500,000 damage to the west coast of the United States.

March 27, 1964: Magnitude 9.2 quake in Prince William Sound, Alaska, and ensuing tsunami killed 128 people (tsunami 113, earthquake 15) and caused about $311 million in property loss. Anchorage, about 120 kilometers northwest of the epicenter, sustained the most severe property damage.

Dec. 26, 2004: Magnitude 9.1 quake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra triggered a tsunami that killed an estimated 228,000 people in 12 countries.

Aug. 13, 1868: Magnitude 9.0 quake in Arica, Peru (now Chile) triggered tsunamis that killed more than 25,000 people in South America.

Nov. 4, 1952: Magnitude 9.0 earthquake in Kamchatka, USSR triggered a tsunami that caused property damage but no deaths in Hawaii.

Jan. 26, 1700: Magnitude 9.0 earthquake in the Cascadia subduction zone from mid-Vancouver Island in British Columbia along the Pacific Northwest coast.

Nov. 25, 1833: Magnitude 9.0 quake near Sumatra, Indonesia and ensuing tsunami caused extensive loss of life on the island.

Feb. 27, 2010: Magnitude 8.8 in Maule, Chile. Damage and loss of life presently unknown.

Jan. 31, 1906: Magnitude 8.8 off the coast of Ecuador and Colombia generated a strong tsunami that killed 500 to 1500 in coastal areas.

Nov. 1, 1755: Magnitude 8.7 quake in Lisbon, Portugal and ensuing tsunami killed an estimated 60,000 people and destroyed much of Lisbon.

Feb 4, 1965: Magnitude 8.7 quake in the Rat Islands, Alaska caused a 10.7-m-high tsunami on Shemya Island and no loss of life.

Jul. 8, 1730: Magnitude 8.7 quake in Valparasio, Chile, killed at least 3,000 people.

Mar. 28, 2005: Magnitude 8.7 quake quake off northern Sumatra island in Indonesia.
Deadliest earthquakes

Jan. 23, 1556: 8 magnitude quake in Shaanxi, China, 830,000 deaths.

Jul. 27, 1976: 7.5 magnitude quake in Tangshan, China, 255,000-655,000 deaths

Aug. 8, 1138: Quake near Syria, Aleppo killed 230,000.

Dec. 26, 2004: Magnitude 9.1 quake off Sumatra killed 227,898 people.

Jan. 12, 2010: Magnitude 7.0 quake near Haiti killed 222,521 people (official estimate).

@ 5:42 p.m. Paula Tejada from Chile Lindo reports that all of her relatives are well.

2 Comments

  1. From Beatriz in Berkeley who lived through a 9.5 earthquake in Chile: It hit Valdivia where I was in a boarding school, May 22, 1960, early afternoon. it was interminable. If this one is 1,000 bigger that Haiti’s 7.0 I am not sure mathematically how much bigger mine was compared to today’s or Haiti’s. I think the 9.5 is the highest recorded in history and it reached the highest point in the Richter scale so who knows how strong it may have been….there were tsunamis all the way to Japan…

  2. Mark

    the earth is always moving. see the USGS site at http://quake.usgs.gov/recenteqs/Anim/sf.html for an animation of the 294 earthquakes from Morgan Hill to Clearlake over the past week.

Comments are closed.