“Just another guy with a blog.  No big whoop.”

February 27, 2010

This is what happens when a tsunami reaches land

The scale of the waves is hard to determine at first, and then, at about the 2:25 minute mark, the camera zooms out and you can see a little speck of a person standing on the beach just before the water overtakes him.

Massive 8.8 Quake Strikes Chile

Everyone's waking up to this grim news:
SANTIAGO (Reuters) - A massive magnitude-8.8 earthquake struck south-central Chile early on Saturday, killing at least 85 people, knocking down buildings, homes and hospitals, and triggering a tsunami.
Yahoo has a large number of pictures of the devastation. It appears that the death toll will be quite high.

Eerily, like a broken watch with its hands frozen at the moment of its demise, some of the Chilean press is (thus far, at least) frozen in its news cycle just before the earthquake struck. Many Chilean press outlets are functional and reporting first-hand news of the quake in Spanish, such as here, here, here, and here.

First, the devastating quake in Haiti 45 days ago, and now this one in Chile. My guess is that more of these disasters will strike more frequently. I hope not, but that's a hunch. Sooner or later, one of these BIG quakes will strike within the U.S. — Los Angeles? St. Louis? Chicago? San Francisco? New York? It's just a matter of time, the scientists have been telling us.

Two things we should do:

1) Always be ready to meet the Lord by staying close to him in prayer and the sacraments, especially frequent confession. This is a no-brainer, but it's amazing how many people, including Catholics, never give the four last things any thought: Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell.

And 2) If you haven't already, start making practical preparations in your own home so that, if find yourself in a quake-stricken area, you and your family can fare better and be in a position to help those around you. Lay in a supply (even if just a small one) of extra water, foods that will keep without refrigeration, medicines like Ibuprophin, a hand-crank radio (no batteries needed), etc. Make a plan with your family, especially your kids, so that they will know where to meet up. You know, those kinds of basic preparations.