Chile Earthquake Hits Close to Home

Just weeks after a massive earthquake in Haiti, and another in Taiwan, residents in Chile felt a powerful earthquake measuring 8.8 on the Richter scale.

When Rodrigo and Joy Fernandez de la Reguera heard the news, it hit closer to home than your typical Naperville family. That’s because Rodrigo was born and raised in Santiago, Chile, 270 miles north of where the 8.8 magnitude earthquake hit Concepción, Chile.

“My father-in-law woke me up very early in the morning, and said ‘you better turn on the TV and check out what’s going on in Chile,’” said Rodrigo. “When they started showing the areas, some of the areas are where I grew up. Some of the places I used to go on vacation to, and they were destroyed.”

Rodrigo immediately tried to call his family to make sure everyone was safe. When he didn’t hear anything, Joy tried to communicate in a different way.

“Rodrigo was calling and I was on the Internet,” said Joy. “I found a Facebook post from one of my nieces. So, that was a huge relief. Knowing that she had connectivity was a good sign. So I posted on her wall right away to see how everyone else was doing.”

“Finally when you hear ‘Hey, Brother, I’m fine, don’t worry about it,’ finally it’s like, phew, you release. But, I wasn’t able to find my father until Monday morning. It was a very shocking experience and it’s too bad I wasn’t able to be there to help,” said Rodrigo.

The Fernandez de la Reguera family isn’t going to let an earthquake stand in the way. They plan to go back to Chile to visit as soon as possible.

More than 700 people in Chile died in the quake which was 500 times more powerful than the Haiti earthquake, where 200,000 people perished. Authorities say that’s because Chile has stronger infrastructure.

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