Chileans mark quake anniversary:
Fresh quake hits Chile again
CHILE: Thousands of Chileans gathered Sunday to mark the
anniversary of a massive earthquake and tsunami that devastated the
country’s central region, killing more than 500 people and leaving
220,000 families homeless.
Before the day was out, at 10:29 pm , a 6.0 magnitude quake shook the
central region on the anniversary, according to the US Geological
Survey. There were no reports of damage or injury, however.
Families, friends and government officials assembled in Cobquecura, a
village near the epicentre of the 8.8 magnitude earthquake, and in
Dichato, a fishing village that was nearly wiped off the map by the
Some huddled around candles, prayed, held a Mass and or meditated to
At the ceremonies, a moment of silence was held at 0634 GMT, the time
the earthquake struck, described by President Sebastian Pinera in
Cobquecura as among the strongest in recorded history.
“The year 2010 was a very harsh one that we will never forget, but
also a very fertile year,” the president said, noting the outpouring of
support among Chileans for the victims, and other events including the
Bicentennial of Chile and the rescue of 33 miners trapped underground.
“We have seen pain, but we have also seen greatness,” Pinera said.
In Dichato, three-fourths of which was destroyed by tsunami waves,
residents assembled on the beach around a memorial they built.
In Constitucion and Talcahuano, floating candles and flowers dropped
from boats served as a reconciliation with the deadly ocean.
The earthquake and tsunami on February 27 last year killed 524
people, caused $30 billion dollars in damage and led to an inquiry over
the lack of a timely tsunami warning. Another 31 people are still listed
as missing. It was the seventh-largest earthquake ever by magnitude,
according to the US Geological Survey. The worst was a 9.5 magnitude
earthquake, also in Chile, on May 22, 1960. That quake and subsequent
tsunami killed 1,655 people in Chile.
In Concepcion, the city hardest hit by last year’s earthquake, a
vigil was held around the rubble of what was a 14-story building.
The building, where rescuers spent a week searching for survivors,
became a symbol of the tragedy.
Masses followed the commemorations in several cities, the biggest and
most symbolic being held in an open-air plaza in Constitucion, whose
cathedral was destroyed a year ago.
Concepcion, Monday, AFP