We were just about to sit down to lunch last Wednesday when the cutlery started jumping round the table. I stared at it while wondering whether to crawl under the table and then it suddenly went quiet. We asked the waiter whether that had been a “sismo” and he smiled cheerfully and said “Si”. We weren’t sure whether he had been having us on, but a report on the TV news that evening confirmed it. Then we found this article.
We had left Santiago about midday and had just arrived at our hotel in the Cajon de Maipo in the Andes where the earthquake had not been felt as much as in the capital.
Unfortunately my earlier earth-shaking encounter had not ended so well. Just a few days before I was attacked from behind by a scumbag who grabbed my necklaces and pulled, throttling me in the process and tearing my top. I started screaming like a demented banshee and managed to grab the pocket of his jacket. He raced off, pursued by an angry Scot, still screeching like something out of Tam O’Shanter. The jacket pocket was not equal to the strain of a thief trying to escape and a well-nourished victim trying to stop him. It tore and he got away. I was left surrounded by Chilean ladies murmuring “Pobrecita” and “Tranquilo”, learning the Spanish for necklace (la colleta if you want to know). And where were the carabineros? Husband thought that any copper within a two mile radius should have been alerted by the volume of my screams. Now I just have the scar on my neck, not really an adequate replacement for a necklace.
8 thoughts on “Small earthquake in Chile – no Charioteers hurt”
Glad you have escaped relatively unharmed, Sheona.
I’m sorry to hear about that — although I must commend you for not being a passive, quiet victim.
Sorry to hear about the loss of your necklace – hope it wasn’t that valuable. And well done for screaming – I’m not sure that I could under those circumstances – or any other.
A tale of an earthquake:
Many years ago I left the UK to live in Darwin, NT. It really was ‘The Never, Never Land’ – quite unlike anywhere else in the world and so amazingly different from Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire.
My mother couldn’t understand why I was there – until she watched a UK TV program which said that when there was nothing else to do in Darwin – one threw a party!
The program was right…
I lived on the third storey of a flat in Darwin overlooking the sea: it was, without doubt, the most incredible place to live. The lightning displays were stunning, and every evening I saw the sun swallowed by the ocean and at dawn I watched it rise out of the sea and marvelled at the magnificent display of ‘falling stars’.
One such dawn I was sitting on my balcony – drinking coffee when there was an awful noise right underneath me. I wasn’t too impressed with my neighbours. I’m a very quiet flat dweller.
Then, for what seemed like forever, my vision went all ‘wonky’ – and I thought ‘that’s one party too many – time to slow down’ and eshewed alcohol for ever.
It was only when I got to work later that morning that I learned that there had been a minor earthquake some 6 km distant from my flat.
For the record: I went to another ‘party’ that evening.
Yup, confirmed by the USGS (United States Geological Service) I have on speed dial!
Bad news about the street robbery but S.America ain’t the safest just now. An awful lot of places have had swarms of Venezuelans fleeing to escape the poverty and starvation of home. It appears to have jived up a lot of the countries into states of unrest. Troops called out to borders etc. Starving migrants all over being repelled by a lot of countries. Suggest you are very careful and do not wander around to places by yourselves too much. I guess it hasn’t been too much in the news in Europe. What with Central America jived up by migrant caravans and highjacking drug lords the only safe places are the USA and Canada!
When I lived in Memphis the place used to rock and roll to low level earthquakes all the time. China jangling in the buffet and pictures askew all the bloody time, drove one mad, those pictures. Happens here too but less often. Note to self, hang pictures on two hooks and fit mini buffers at the corners! But not a lot of use when the big one comes.
I do note that they are hotting up off Vancouver Island, a 5.4 and shallow last night. The big one is well overdue here.
Perhaps one needs to go elsewhere to appreciate how calm the UK really is, no earthquakes, no tornadoes, hurricanes, etc etc. Just too many ghastly immigrants which is happening everywhere now. The world does not improve. I refuse to go anywhere except Wales, what is the point? Never understood this need to rush off round the world.
Amusingly a farming friend of mine in Wales, who retired early and let out most of his farm then went travelling. followed all the international rugby tours costing a fortune. He has been everywhere. When I asked how he liked the South Sea Islands there was this hideous silence and then. “Too hot, too moist and when you have seen one bloody palm tree you’ve seen ’em all!” Spoke to him this week and it transpires that his tenant has left and instead of getting another he is reclaiming the farm, buying in more stock and going back into farming full time. The only place he was impressed with was New Zealand but didn’t want to go again. At the end of the day there is no place like home!
CO: Chile is a reasonably safe country and apparently absolutely lovely. There are quite a few similar robberies in Terra Nullius Inwognita, otherwise known as Continental Europe. Dodgydagoland, Shitealy and Frogland are so scam-ridden that even the locals can’t keep up with them all! In Dodgydagoland, the police openly despise holidaymakers in need of a police report stating that they’ve been robbed because it’s become only too repetitive for them. I’ve spoken to a few people here who have recently travelled to South America. Apparently they much prefer it over countries closer — except Buenos Aires, too many big city problems.
Interesting that you mentioned a major earthquake being overdue. Apparently, California is a ticking time bomb. Between fires, increasing tremors and highly unpredictable weather patterns something major is going to happen sooner rather than later. One hopes that it manages to hold out until I go in June. I need to make my annual pilgrimage and don’t care to land at ruined airports!
Agreed Christopher, South America is generally just fine outside a few notorious hot spots. But this Venezuelan business is really currently rattling cages all over. Evidently the rest of the countries are currently trying to get the president of Venezuela to step down and let someone else have a go at it. As of this week! Literally millions of Venezuelans have done a runner.
CO: Oh, absolutely! Venezuela could get away with things so long as oil was expensive. Once that price dropped, it was doomed and it would have to obey the laws of economics again. The current president seems to find reality an anathema and would rather shoot opposition than change course. It will be interesting to see what happens when Jair Bolsonaro takes office as president of Brazil 1 January. He’s a dedicated anti-socialist and is temperamentally closer to Trump than Obama.
Unfortunately, Boadicea, it’s the sentimental value that counts. A thin gold chain given by colleagues on my retirement and a pendant from my daughter. Interesting you should mention immigration into Chile. It has been in the headlines – what I can read of them – here recently and also on a TV discussion which I couldn’t follow. Our waiter in one hotel was Venezuelan.
We are currently on the Pacific coast just south of Valparaiso where we go tomorrow. The epicentre of the recent earthquake was San Antonio just south of here. If the tectonic plates can just keep their cool till we take off for Heathrow on Friday afternoon, we’d be obliged.