Chile: The Legacy of the 1960 Earthquake in Valdivia

Fifty years ago, the strongest earthquake ever recorded in history rocked the city of Valdivia, Chile. On May 22, 1960, the 9.5 magnitude earthquake struck the epicenter near the city of Cañete. However, Valdivia was the hardest hit locality with nearly 40% of its building destroyed and leaving close to 20,000 homeless.

Many current users of citizen media are too young to have experienced the 1960 quake, but some like Mauro Barrientos (@maurobarrientos) talked with someone who was there fifty years ago:

Mi awela dijo este terremoto ni se compara al del terremoto de valdivia en 1960

My grandmother said that this (2010) earthquake does not compare with the Valdivia earthquake in 1960

However, the legacy that the earthquake has had on Chile's history was on the minds of many around the country. Yondaime Andres (@EomerElessar) writes:

a toodos se les aparece el fantasma del 60 por eso el temor

people are afraid because this (earthquake) looks like the ghost of (the earthquake of 19)60.

From the city of Valdivia, Betsabé Sandoval (@_Nahra) has been uploading various vintage photos at Twitpic of the destruction from the 1960 earthquake, including this photo of the damage to the Valdivia Cathedral. In total, she has uploaded 10 different photographs.

Photo of Valdivia post-quake uploaded by _Nahra

Photo of Valdivia post-quake uploaded by _Nahra

There are many Twitter users who currently live in the city of Valdivia. Throughout the day, they have been reacting to the developments of the 2010 earthquake and how their fellow residents were affected. The Twitter user @tapeks writes about the current mood of the city:

Se ve el temor en la gente, todos andan intranquilos y las calles se ven desoladas, se ve tan raro #Valdivia

You can see the fear in the people, everyone walks around restless, the streets are desolate, it looks unusual

With the approach of nightfall on the first night after the earthquake, Evelyn Arriagada (@evelynarriaga) and Daniela Contreras (@dcontrerasl) both remark how things are a little calmer, but everyone is heading to bed with a little bit of fear.

Nevertheless, not only is the damage caused by the 1960 earthquake on the minds of many, but also the reaction by the Chilean people 50 years ago. Pancho Ballesteros (@Pancho_B) writes:

Si hace 50 años nuestra patria se puso de pie despues de lo de Valdivia, hoy es el momento de volver a hacerlo…

If our country got up on our feet after the (earthquake) in Valdivia 50 years ago, today is the moment to do the same…


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