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Latino Daily News

Sunday February 27, 2011

One Year After Chile’s Devastating 8.8 Magnitude Earthquake

On February 27, 2010 a 8.8 magnitude earthquake shook Chile leaving it in ruins:  524 dead, 800,0000 homeless, 370,000 houses ruined, 4,500 schools destroyed and $30 billion in damages.

The earthquake is considered the fifth largest in history and increased the country’s poverty rate by 3 percent. 

One year later the rebuilding continues, with official government statements saying 50% of the rebuild is done whereby 940 miles of roads were repaired and 200 bridges rebuilt.  There are many complaints especially from the poorer sectors of the country that the rebuilding is taking too long.  Regardless of the time frame, the Chilean economy has emerged unscathed with its wood pulp and wine making industries back on their feet.  Its key industry cooper production is expected to grow 6% this year.

Nonetheless, Chile remains very weary of another earthquake, this past year alone the country had 20 quakes with a magnitude of 6 or higher and 4,000 temblors.  Just in this past week the country felt 5 earthquakes along its coast line. 

And then of course their is the inspirational and incredible story of the 33 Chilean miners that riveted the world and served as a symbol of what Chile can do in a time of crisis.