Tag Archives: earthquake

The collapse that shouldn’t have been

One of the most dramatic images from the Feb. 27 Chilean earthquake is that of the Alto Río building in Concepción, split in half, lying on its side. Eight people died in that building, and the broken structure served as an emblem to the world of the earthquake’s incredible power. Except, Alto Río was a [...]
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Rockin’ and a rollin’

This is what a 2-minute long, 8.8-on-the-Richter-Scale earthquake looks like on the 12th floor of a hotel in Valvdivia, Chile. Sweet Jesus.
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Harder than it looks

Chile is good at a lot of things, but it turns out tallying up death tolls is not one of them. First we were told it was over 800. Then the government revised it down to 279 because a municipal government had counted a bunch of missing people as dead. Then the death toll went [...]
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Location, location, location

I’ve experienced several earthquakes during my years in Costa Rica. I think the strongest was the Cinchona quake. At the time it hit, I was having lunch at a restaurant. The quake came on slowly, laterally, and went on for some time. I remember looking out the trembling window and seeing parked cars bouncing back [...]
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I bet you think this earthquake’s about you

It’s always embarrassing to watch Americans reduce human affairs to a handful of particular assumptions based on their own culture wars and then apply them to the rest of the world. Such has been the case with – unbelievably – Chile’s Feb. 27 earthquake. It started with a ridiculous Wall Street Journal op-ed arguing that [...]
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Crying over spilt wine

When news of the Chilean earthquake broke, oenophiles around the world must have grasped at their empty wine glasses with trembling hands and wondered: Will their favorite Chilean wines now be harder to get? The Washington Post answers this morning with a resounding “maybe.” First, the nightmare scenario: Much of the damage came when massive [...]
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Who’s to blame for tsunami deaths?

Now that the shock of Saturday’s massive earthquake has started to fade, Chileans want to know who’s to blame. A lot of them are pointing fingers at the government. The thing is, it’s starting to look like the tsunami following the earthquake killed more people than the earthquake itself. As you can see from the [...]
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Chile earthquake news roundup: Day 3

Everyone’s favorite photo: Emol.com has the story behind the above AP photo, which has become emblematic of both the devastation and the hope found in the wake of Saturday’s monster earthquake. The man in the picture, Bruno Sandoval, is an artist living in the coastal town of Pelluhue. He was out of town the moment [...]
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TRANSLATION: Girl saved island village from tsunami by sounding alarm

(Translated from an article in La Tercera.) On the Juan Fernández Islands, 600km off the coast of Chile, the 8.8 earthquake that shook the mainland on Saturday morning was only a gentle tremble. At least that’s what it felt like to Maratina Maturana, 12 years old and the daughter of a federal police officer stationed [...]
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Asking for it

TIME Magazine has a theory that’s so awesome, they wouldn’t want to invalidate it by thinking. The reason the Haiti earthquake was so terrible and the Chilean earthquake so less terrible, they say, is because of corruption: In recent decades, Chile has mandated earthquake-proofing for new structures, requiring that materials like rubber and features like [...]
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  • DAILY LINKS

    • The Nation has a long, wonky, wonderful article on Mexican maize cultivation, the effects of NAFTA, and the dangers of genetically-modified seeds. Author Peter Canby backs up his excellent writing with piles and piles of meticulous research. Not to be missed. [link, via SM] (Image from Joel Penner.)

    • Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas ended his hunger strike yesterday after 134 days. Farinas decided to end his strike after the Cuban government said it would release political prisoners rounded up in the "Black Spring" crackdown of 2003. Get well soon. [link]

    • The Uruguayan selection, which has made it to the quarter finals of the World Cup, just received a shipment of half a ton of fine cuts of beef for the mother of all asados in preparation for a contest against Ghana on Friday: "450 kilos of lomo, 200 of entrecot, 75 of vacío, 75 of colita de cuadril, 150 of ojo de bife and 50 kg of picaña." [link]

    • Hitmen have assassinated the PRI candidate for governor of Tamaulipas State, Rodolfo Torre Cantú. Torre was gunned down along with six others at about 10:30 this morning on a highway on the way to a campaign event. Drug mafias are assumed to be responsible. [link]

    • From the days when coups were something of a regional sport, new documents detail a famous British ballerina's role in a plot to topple the government of Panama. The plan was to use her yacht to gather men and arms, then "land somewhere and collect in the hills." It didn't work. [link]

    • Mexico's Attorney General's Office has posted on its web site irrefutable evidence that gold-plated AR-15s and diamond-studded pistol grips are not nearly as cool-looking as they sound. The deadly knick-knack collection is said to belong to Valencia Cartel leader El Lobo. [link]

    • Two Brazilian ranchers were sentenced to 30 years in prison apiece for ordering the killing of an environmentalist nun: "Prosecutors said the pair offered to pay a gunman $25,000 to kill the 73-year-old [Dorothy] Stang because she had prevented them from stealing a piece of land that the government had granted to a group of poor farmers." [link]


    • This video of a kidnapping and car chase in Mexico is notable mainly for the bad-assitude of the TV journalists who were on this like white on rice. Well done, gentlemen.

    • The Economist takes a peak at the Mockus phenomenon in Colombia: "His moustacheless beard gives him the air of a Baltic pastor... He is financing his campaign with a bank overdraft. His supporters rely on Facebook and make their own posters; street vendors sell unofficial campaign T-shirts." [link]

    • Some cruise lines will cease traveling to Antarctica after this cruise season, as a ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil goes into effect next year. The ban came after a 2007 incident when a Gap Adventures ship got punctured by ice and sank, causing a mess. [link]