Chile: Tsunami Scare on Easter Island

Easter Island is well-known for its Polynesian monumental statues that draw tourists from around the globe. This Chilean territory, also known by its native name of Rapa Nui, lies 3500 km west of the South American continent and has a permanent population of close to 5,000. During the aftermath of the February 27 earthquake, there was also great concern for local residents and visiting tourists because of the tsunami warning.

Mexican José Alberto Castro (@elgueromex) was visiting Easter Island when the earthquake struck and when the tsunami warning was issued. He used Twitter to access information on what has happening back on the mainland and to inform friends about the current situation.

Parece ser que nos van a evacuar están esperando olas muy grandes hay les aviso

It looks like they will evacuate us, they are expecting large waves, I'll let you know.

Residents and tourists were ordered to evacuate coastal areas and were moved to higher ground. When the tsunami warning had expired without any serious damage, he took this photograph of the full moon over the island and writes, “today, after so much uncertainty, Rapa Nui gives us this moon.”

The brother of José Luis Tapia (@cuatrodjspro) was on Easter Island when the earthquake hit. Tapia opened his Twitter account during the earthquake repercussions to exchange information regarding the situation on Easter Island. After phoning his brother, he shared the information that he gathered:

acabo de hablar cn mi hermano en isla de pascua y esta todo normal, segun ellos no habra vuelos en los proximos 5 dias

just finished talking with my brother on Easter Island and everything is normal, according to them there won't be any flights for the next 5 days.

en isla de pascua hubo un tsunami de caracter leve en el sector de tongariki alrededor de las 9 de la mañana ningun daño ni heridos

on Easter Island, there was a mild tsunami in the area of Tongariki around 9 a.m., but there was no damage or injuries.

Alejandro Tucki (@JanoTC) also opened a Twitter account post-earthquake. He took the following photo on Easter Island that shows a stone wall that was damaged by the waves in an unpopulated area:

Photo of damaged stone wall on Easter Island by Alejandro Tucki

Photo of damaged stone wall on Easter Island by Alejandro Tucki

Another Chilean who was on the island when the tsunami warning was announced, Daniel Sovino (@dsavino) also writes that everything is fine, but not without alarm:

todo bien por aca, aparte del susto de despertar con evacuacion de tsunami, la sacamos mas barata que el continente….

everything fine around here, other than the scare of waking up with the tsunami evacuation, we got off lighter than the continent….


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