Thank you all for your thoughts, good wishes, and concerns for us here in Chile. Dan and I were very lucky to be in Santiago when the terremoto happened early Saturday morning. It's a modern city with good construction and strict building codes, and most buildings escaped with very little damage.
After things quieted down early Saturday and we grabbed a couple hours of sleep, we took a walk along the main streets of Providencia, the area of Santiago where we live and go to school. While other parts of Santiago suffered more severe damage, we actually had to look hard to find any in our neighborhood:
Despite reports of looting in other parts of Chile, we saw nothing like that here in Santiago. People just ambled by this storefront on Avenida Providencia:
They had already closed off sidewalks and were well along with clean up when we walked through at 2pm on Saturday:
Nuestra Senora de la Providencia church lost its bell tower:
We are so amazed with the calm, efficient way Santiago's residents responded to the quake. Fire and police responded immediately to emergency calls, racing through the streets as soon as the quake had stopped. And clean up crews were out assessing damage and fixing downed power lines within several hours. Amazingly enough, by Monday morning we were all back to our normal routines.
Now people here in Santiago are busy collecting food and supplies to send to the badly damaged regions in the south, where some towns suffered total destruction and the people there are still without food, water and electricity.
If you'd like to contribute to Chile's earthquake relief effort, you can contact the Red Cross to make a donation.