Chile experienced an 8.2 magnitude earthquake in the city of Tarapaca, the earthquake was so powerful that it caused a prison building to fall apart, and inmates then escaped, fleeing into the city. The city lies on the northern most part of Chile, and the earthquake began a little while before 9PM on Tuesday. There were tsunami warning in effect, and most of the inhabitants of the city were relocated for the night, recently the tsunami warning was lifting and people have begun retiring to their homes, although most had no home to return to.
The city of Tarapaca is a city that lives on its fishing and fish processing agriculture to enable its economy. This is at the city’s shoreline, the rest of the city’s environmental geography is mostly desert. Although new systems of irrigation and have now let the citizens of Tarapaca use the desert lands for cultivating such things as olives, citrus fruits and also alfalfa. Chile produces the largest mining of copper in the world, the earthquake fortunately did not affect this area.
The earthquake in Chile that caused a prison escape led to hundreds of soldiers and police to be sent to rally up all the loose inmates. They were also sent there to try to prevent any type of looting and rioting that might occur. Sea water rose high after the earthquake, which is what cause officials to first put up a tsunami alert.
The Chile earthquake also caused landslides that blocked up roads, took out power to the city and even ruined an airport. Business all over the impacted area were crucially damaged, most burst to flames. The president of Chile, Michelle Bachelet addressed the country five-hours after the massive incident occurred. This is not the president’s first experience with a deadly earthquake in her country, in 2010 another destructive earthquake occurred. Although before no tsunami warning were put into effect, and 500 civilians who had survived the quake were later killed by the tsunami. It is in these next days that we will see how the president handles the terrible situation happening in her country.
The earthquake was so powerful that not only did Chile’s next door neighbor Bolivia feel the shake, but so did the citizens of Los Angeles. Although U.S impact of the earthquake will be very little compared to any of the damage done in the city of Tarapaca. People from all over the globe and charities as well are organizing to send help to the people of Chile. On the social media website Twitter, the #PrayForChile is currently trending, with thousands of twitter users giving support any way they can.
The Chile earthquake that caused over 300 inmates to escape has been reported to have caused six deaths so far, a number that is low due to the size and magnitude of the earthquake, but a tragedy none the less. So far only a few dozen of the escaped inmates have been caught, chances are slim that all will be found and taken back to prison. The focus has been more on the protection of the people and restoring order to the broken city, all we can do now is hope for the best to the people of Chile to overcome the many obstacles they will now face for weeks to come.
Opinion by: Miguel A. Tamayo