The second natural disaster i´ve survived in a month!
So my first Friday night in Santiago, having arrived just a day and a half before was certainly eventful. I went out with Alex and a few of his friends as we were celebrating one of his friends birthday´s. We first went to a Tapas bar to eat some food and drink some Mojitos and Pisco sours before going out to a club. I felt like i´d hit the jackpot as the club we ended up going to was a small, underground club playing techno music. I felt like I was in heaven, having been in Peru for a month I have been deprived of good music and have been reduced to dancing to the Black Eyed Peas, Regatton and Cumbria music, so as i´m sure many of my good friends in London will appreciate - I was a very happy bunny. Well until just before 3.30 am that is.......
I went to sit down with Alex to rest my weary legs, we had only been sat down for a few minutes when we noticed the couch we were sitting on was moving. The trouble is i´m used to going to banging techno nights where the music is literally so loud you feel like you are vibrating all night anyways! So we didn´t think anything of it and no one even mentioned it. I get up to go get a drink, I start walking across to where the bar is and I start to feel my legs moving beneath me. I remember thinking that I must have been really drunk as everything started to look like it was spinning. I turned round to walk back to the couch where the rest of the gang were sitting and then panic set in as I realised what was going on - it was an earthquake. The whole building was shaking violently, there were these lights hanging from the ceiling and I just remember looking at them and thinking that the building was going to collapse as they were swinging from side to side and exploding. The power went off, music cut out and everyone started screaming and running out the door. Unfortunately at the time everyone realised what was going on I happened to be standing near the doorway so I got caught in all the mayhem and I had to fight against everyone running out. I was in absolute panic as I really thought the building was going to collapse and I couldnt see Alex or his friends. When I managed to fight through the crowd I found them sitting on the couch all very calm, whilst I was somewhat hysterical. ´Don´t panic´ everyone reassured me, ´it happens all the time here we are used to it´. I wasn´t totally convinced but everyone who still remained in the club seemed relatively composed. So then I started to wonder why the music wasn´t coming back on, I mean no big deal right, just a ´lil earthquake?´ ha whatever! The bouncers asked us to leave and we realised the lack of power would mean our night would have to end early. Walking out of the club we all started sobering up, fast. The streets were covered in debris everywhere we looked, I could see huge pieces of concrete that had fallen off the buildings and all I could think was thank god I wasn´t on the street walking past when they started falling off! The drive home was spooky there was no power anywhere so everything was dark, we could hear sirens and alarms everywhere and we saw a burst water pipe. We got home to find Alex´s mum up and waiting for us. There were candles lit around the house because there was no electricity, we sat up and waited out a few of the bigger after shocks together. Luckily only a few glasses were broken and a few cracks in the walls at the house but nothing devastating. The light came back on at about 6.30 and shortly after we all went to bed having no idea the devastation that had swept across the country.
I can only applogise to my mother for not anticipating what was international front page news. I woke at about midday (3pm UK time) having no idea that news of the earthquake had been on the 9am UK news. I also had forgotten that I had told my mother I was going to visit the beach but hadn´t said where or when, only that I had planned to go. Having now seen the images on the TV of what was going on in the rest of the country I can only imagine the panic that my family experienced that morning and for that I appologise sincerely to them! I can however assure everyone that I am absolutely fine. There is some severe damage in Santiago but the majority of the serious damage affected the South of the country, principally Concepcion which is about 9 hours drive south of here. It has been a crazy experience especially watching the news, seeing some of the damage and realising how lucky we all were. There have been aftershocks all week and it has been a week since the disaster now. I can´t help but think I am an incredibly lucky girl and I must have someone looking out for me somewhere as this is the second natural disaster I have been involved in a month and both occasions I have been absolutely fine. What just about sums it up for me is this blog would like me to ´categorise´ this entry, funnily enough there isn´t a category for Natural Disasters, I wonder why??!! Here are a few pics of some of the damage just walking around the next day!