Four days later, I finally have internet connection in my house. I am surfing the web, watching photos from my country. As you probably know, an earthquake stroke Chile at 3:34 am, February 27. It was 8.8 in the Ritcher scale, according to the U.S. Geological Survey Program. The second most strong earthquake in Chilean history (whereas the first most strong earthquake was in Valdivia, also in Chile, 1960, the highest earthquake in history).
The devastation in Chile is overwhelming. More than 720 deaths (and rising), 500 injured people, more than half of the country striked by the earthquake, and thousands of houses and buildings falling apart. The effects of the earthquake is big; tsunamis crashed over chilean cities, destroying them. The tsunamis reached Australia, Japan and Hawaii.
As a science’s blog, I have to say something about the effects of this earthquake over research. Preliminary data inform about Science’s Faculties destroyed. A Chemistry Faculty was burned entirely, in a city very close to the epicenter of the earthquake. Here, in Santiago, we have several damages in laboratories from many research centers and universities. My lab was full of water the morning after the earthquake. A big amount of data was almost lost. Fortunately, equipment was unharmed. Some damages in structures and walls is also observed, but maybe they can be repaired in a few weeks. In other laboratories, where some of my friends are pursuing their Ph.D. research projects, the damages are more extensive, with chemical emergencies, equipment lost, structural damage…
Conicyt, the Government agency funding science, already declared a flexibility in some deadlines for applications and submission of results from research projects. We still don’t have news from other laboratories and research facilities in the areas more affected by the earthquake. The hope and faith that we all have is not only for science. It is also for the entire Chile.
Soon more news and photos.