Michael Jordan ‘ 11 – In our orientation the SIT program advised the group that Chile was a country susceptible to earthquakes. With most of us from the Midwest and East coast we paid no attention to that warning, and little did we know that “the big one” was looming.
The 8.8 magnitude earthquake occurred only after our second day in Santiago (the capital of Chile). After two weeks, the aftershocks are still coming with three today being about the same magnitude as the devastating Haiti earthquake. Luckily, none have occurred less than 90 miles away from Santiago. Don´t get me wrong – waking up to the first earthquake at about 4 in the morning was an experience I will never forget. The ground shook forever it seemed (little more than a minute really) and I jumped up when my host parent yelled for me ‘ven aqui Michael! ven aqui!’ Objects off shelves were flying everywhere, all you can hear is furniture rumbling and glass shattering. It was all very surreal at the time. To finish the night the entire street chatted with each other or slept outside on cushions and blankets.