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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Earthquake in Chile

It is 6:30 a.m. our time and we have been up for the past two and a half hours. If it were not for a scheduled pick up at the airport we would probably still be sleeping and unaware of the events that are literally shaking this country. I am thankful that is not the case and we are cognizant of what is happening.

We received a text message from my brother-in-law Mark from Santiago shortly after the earthquake hit at 3:34 a.m. this morning, informing us that they were fine. Since cell phone communication was lost for a couple of hours after that, it was reassuring to know our family members were safe. Shortly before 6 a.m. I was able to speak with Mark by cell phone. They have intermittent electricity and were as yet unaware of the details of the earthquake. It was so strong in Santiago (7.0 Richter, 8.0 Mercali) that he was sure they were at the epicenter. According to his account, the shaking began like any other tremor but quickly escalated to where he and Jenn grabbed the kids and ran downstairs. They could hear things breaking in their neighbor’s house and in their own house a bookshelf screwed into a sheetrock wall pulled loose (but thankfully didn’t fall.)

I have been watching Chilean news reports since this all began but as yet there has been no direct word from ConcepciĆ³n in southern Chile, where the full force of the quake hit. It has been estimated at between 8.3 – 8.8 on the Richter scale and 9.0 on the Mercali. While modern Chilean buildings are built to sustain the force of earthquakes, this is an enormous force of nature and there is great concern over the well-being of people in southern Chile. We have friends in that part of the country and we are anxious to know they are safe.

Out of the United States, CNN is reporting a tsunami warning; however, local stations in Chile are currently saying it is not a threat. There has been a report from Juan Fernandez island of a giant wave which reached the middle of town. Otherwise I have not heard further confirmation regarding the tsunami warnings.

Unfortunately, we are without internet connection here in Iquique and I am unable to post this information immediately … When it hits the blog, it means we are back online! I know that people unfamiliar with Chile often do not realize how incredibly long this country is – so much so that we felt not even a tremor here in Iquique – and might worry about our family as well. We are absolutely fine and our children are peacefully sleeping. Please pray for others who are not so fortunate tonight.

Thank you for your prayers for Chile at this time.


Twinsplusthree said...

I have to say my heart sunk this morning when I turned on the computer and saw the headline "massive 8.8 earthquake kits Chilie." I did not see the city you live mentioned so I figured you were safe! Nevertheless, after all you have been though with earthquakes in the past 6 weeks, I would only imagine that your nerves are a bit frazzled!!! We will pray for your sister and others in Chilie.

sea salt MOSAIC said...

praise praise praise God, Stephanie. I awoke to this news here at my in-laws with 4 out of 5 children runnning wild and told my mother-in-law we needed to pray for you and she has coaxed the children under her care so I could check in on you. So relieved of your safety and your family members in Santiago as well. praying fervently for you all in my blogging absence. My deepest love and friendship, julie

Amanda said...

as soon as I heard this i immediately thought of you, stephanie. so thankful you and your family are alright and praying for chile.

Bill and Christina said...

Thanking God for your safety and the safety of your family!

Stephanie said...

When I heard the news this morning I immediately thought of your family and prayed you were safe. So relieved to know you are OK.

Jill Wilkins said...

I thought of you immediately when I heard the news and am SO glad you guys are safe, Stephanie!

Lisa said...

I am so glad to hear that you were unaffected. As soon as I saw the news flash I jumped on to your blog...all I could think was "Oh Dear God, please don't tell me that those poor babies had to endure another earthquake." I can't imagine what thoughts would have been going through their minds. Especially when they are feeling loved and secure for the first time in their lives. I will keep you all in my prayers (as usual).

Kathy's Korner said...

I too thought of you...knowing you were a long ways from the center..but also knowing I'm pretty earthquake illiterate and wonder if you could feel it or not.

Glad to know you are all ok, another earthquake is not what you little men need!!