Earthquake in Chile

February 27, 2010 at 3:33 pm (News, Travel)

Early this morning Chile was rocked by an 8.8-strength earthquake. Over a hundred people are dead, and the resulting tsunami and aftershocks could potentially kill more. Countries all along South America’s west coast are on wave watch, as well as islands in the Pacific and as far as Australia.

While I don’t expect to be affected in any way here in Cali – since we’re miles from the ocean – I did receive an e-mail warning from the Canadian government. When I registered as a Canadian abroad I was just checking something off my to-do list, not expecting it to actually be useful or necessary.

Here’s the message:

Notice to all Canadians

On February 27, 2010, a strong earthquake measuring 8.8 on the Richter scale struck close to the city of Concepción in Chile. Several aftershocks were felt and a tsunami warning has been issued in the following countries and regions:

Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Antarctica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Pitcairn, El Salvador, French Polynesia, Mexico, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Kermadec Islands, Niue, New Zealand, Tonga, American Samoa, Samoa, Jarvis Island, Wallis-Futuna, Tokelau, Fiji, Australia, Hawaii, Palmyra Islands, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Howland-Baker, New Caledonia, Johnston Island, Solomon Islands, Nauru, Marshall Islands, Midways Islands, Kosrae, Papua New Guinea, Pohnpei, Wake Island, Chuuk, Russia, Marcus Island, Indonesia, Guam, Yap, Belau, Japan, Philippines, N. Marianas and Chinese Taipei.

Canadians are advised to exercise caution and follow the advice of local authorities. Moving to higher ground and seeking shelter in reinforced buildings is also advised.

In case of emergency, contact Canadian Government Office in that country or the Emergency Operations Center in Ottawa at 613-996-8885  or 1-800-387-3124 or via email at

It’s pretty intense stuff, though this doesn’t hit me nearly as hard as the avalanches and flooding that happened in Peru last month due to huge rainfalls. I was looking through pictures at the destruction, and I recognized a few places that I had been only a few weeks earlier – it doesn’t get much more personal than that. I’m glad I was able to visit Machu Picchu before the craziness (it won’t reopen until April), but it’s sobering to think that if I had been there only a little later, I would have been caught in the middle of all of the chaos and disaster.



  1. Cheryl said,

    Wow, Argentina was hit with an earthquake today, too. What’s going on in South America?

  2. Kristy-Ann said,

    It’s really dangerous catching up on the news via Twitter just moments after waking up. For some reason my brain registered Chile as your current location instead of Colombia. Talk about putting myself into panic mode. And then I realized that you were further north in Colombia and not in Chile. For that I was thankful. Praying for your continued safety.


  3. andrewbpaterson said,

    Be safe, Cheryl!

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