Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Oh, by the way, we had an earthquake today...

There are small earthquakes almost every day in Chile, but most are so minor that nobody feels them at all. A few weeks ago, one of the earthquakes was big enough that I could actually feel it. It was around 7:30 in the morning, and at the epicenter it was a magnitude 5.0. We only had a mild rumble in Santiago, but it was enough for me to realize that it was a small earthquake. It actually made the windows of my hotel room creak!

Today while sitting at my desk at work, I felt my second earthquake. This one felt quite a bit stronger (nothing extreme though) and the shaking lasted a few minutes. I checked the earthquake tracking website, and the epicenter for this one was only about 90 miles from Santiago and it was a magnitude 5.3. The shaking literally made my desk chair rock.

Chileans are very chill about earthquakes, but it is a strange experience for most of the gringos. The good news is that the infrastructure here is built to withstand earthquakes. When the big earthquake (magnitude 8.8) hit in early 2010, Santiago made it through with only minor damages because of the way the buildings are constructed. I think I heard that the building I work in is constructed to make it through a magnitude 9 without sustaining substantial damage (not sure where I heard that?). You can actually see in the stairwell the way sections of the stairs are separated intentionally to give room for seismic activity.

Like I said yesterday, I don’t have any new pictures or any exciting excursions to write about right now. At least I blogged though! I hope everyone is having a good week!


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