The largest recorded earthquake in history was also in Chile measuring in at 9.5 on May 22, 1960. That historic quake killed over 1600 people and left over 2 million homeless. People around the Pacific were also killed due to the Tsunami the quake caused including in Hawaii, Japan & the Philippines.
In the early morning in Chile today, people where shaken awake by what some described as a locomotive sound coming through their home. They were then shrouded in darkness in the middle of the night having lost electricity and now water, bridges and buildings collapsing. There are reports of craters in the streets, 10 foot shifts in the pavement all evidence of the trauma inducing quake.
Following the 8.8 quake, there was no break from the shaking and fear as aftershocks have been measuring in at 6.2 and 6.9 magnitude - causing many to fear going into their homes forcing them to wait in the streets. (there have been over 50 aftershocks measuring above 4.5).
Hawaii has been getting frequent Tsunami warnings via sirens since 6 a.m. this morning. We have a friend in Hawaii who has been reporting about the surreal experience as he waits and wonders at his hotel in Hawaii calling the sirens and reality of the tsunami that is approaching Hawaii at 500 MPH "unnerving." They are literally waiting at their hotel - with ocean views - for the tsunami to hit at 500 MPH on the shores.
The tsunami waves are anticipated to be 6-8 foot - which may not sound ferocious. However, these waves are traveling at the speed of a jet plane - 500 MPH and are expected to crash into the shore like a river and suck out to sea whatever they can swallow.
Any daredevils in that area should not mock Mother Nature by going to the beaches and marinas to observe the incoming tsunami if they want to walk away with their life in tact.
It is astounding - not only has Chile been bulldozed by this quake, but the entire Pacific will be impacted. History tells us that the danger is real - as stated above - in the 60's when Chile endured the 9.5 earthquake, people were killed far from the shores of Chile including Hawaii, Japan and the Philippines. Even the west coast of the US were damaged from the ensuing tsunami.
Living in a city (Los Angeles - at the beach) that constantly buzzes about when the "big one" is coming - even movies have been made about the big quake that many anticipate will hit the coasts of California - I look at this terrible tragedy doled out by the ever shifting Earth with horror and sadness at those who have lost family and are living in limbo. I also look on in morbid fascination.
In a snap second - without any control of your own - every single thing in your life can change. As a self acknowledged "worrier" I sometimes trick myself into thinking that if I anticipate every bad thing that could happen and prepare for it or avoid it, I'm some how ahead of the game. The truth is - that is a silly and childish fantasy.
Sure, preparedness is crucial especially when you LIVE in an Earthquake zone as I do, but reality is, you can't stop these things from happening and changing your life forever.
For now, I will pray for everyone impacted by this Earthquake and quickly approaching Tsunami and do my part to donate and help when time appropriate. I also will use it as a reminder in my personal life to live for the moment and count my blessings on a daily basis. As the old cliche goes, 'life spins on a dime', and frankly, I want to get my money's worth.
Do you know anyone in Chile or any of the Tsunami zones?
Have you ever lived through a terrible earthquake and have a story to share?
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