News From Dichato

Everything to do with the earthquake in Chile 2010 including contacting relatives, latest news from regions and cities, search for assistance, how to help Chile, and anything else related to the disaster and recovery.
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cali_chile48
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News From Dichato

Post by cali_chile48 » Thu Mar 18, 2010 11:28 am

hello all. i am back in dichato. i was here for the earthquake and i stayed for about 4 days until i was sure i would be able to make it to santiago. i stayed in santiago for about ten days, and three days ago i drove back to dichato.

i knew that my house had survived the earthquake and tsunami (maremoto...no english equivalent). i was somewhat worried about people vandalizing the house, or occupying the house. when i got back to dichato, the house was fine, just as i had left it. i am working on fixing a broken water pipe that spilled 400 liters of water, and i am living off of the 200 liters that did not get spilled.

the house has no electricity yet, although my neighbors all have lights and the street light in front of the house has been shining for two nights now. i filed a report with CGE...they said they would get to it today. Once i get electricity, maybe i´ll get cable TV back, since that is a satellite service. telephone lines and internet lines will have to be restrung for about a km, and that will take at least another week.

i also spoke with ESSBIO, the water company. they have huge infrastructure repairs to do, both in tome and in dichato. dichato is bone dry and tome has water running in the streets. there are a lot of crews working hard to get services restored, but it´s a massive job and i don´t expect to have water pumped to my house for at least another ten days or so. when that happens, i´ll have a newly repaierd and slighty improved storage tank system ready to hold all of that water.

the army is visible everywhere....i get stopped everytime i drive from dichato to tome. i have a resident pass, so it´s not a big deal. in town there are soldiers every 500 meters or so. there are several crews clearing rubble with large tractors. they are just piling all of the rubble onto the soccer field and burning it, so the air quality is pretty bad sometimes. they are burning EVERYTHING....wood, plastic, roofing material, matresses....whatever...i suppose this makes sence in terms of disease control, but i´d rather see them haul it away and bury it somewhere.

i have had some contact with world vision, a group that wants to provide psych services to children in dichato. i offered them the use of my house. a couple of their members came to look at it, but i think they lost interest once they realized that there were no basic services....water, especially, is problematic.

there is news about a lawsuit against the government for some of the deaths in dichato. from what i understand, one of the people in charge told people who had evacuated dichato that it was OK to go back....just in time for the third, and largest, wave. i´m not a geologist, or a oceanographer, but i know enough to stay well above the ocean for several hours after a big earthquake. it´s hard for me to understand how someone could issue an¨ALL CLEAR¨ notice in the dark less than 3 hours after an 8.8 earthquake that was centered about 50 km north of dichato. it´s also hard for me to understand how anyone could risk their lives believing a notice like that. in cases like this, you have to think for yourself. no government decree is going to stop mother nature.

i am also noticing a shift in my emotions. i have been in survival mode for a couple of weeks, and now i am starting to feel the pain and the sadness. this was a huge hit. i think dichato will recover, but it won´t happen quickly.

more later.....

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Re: News From Dichato

Post by admin » Thu Mar 18, 2010 11:50 am

Big hats off for going back in, and committing to the community. It is what places like Dichato need more than ever.

We had to give some disaster 101 lectures to the team of psychologist we took to Isla Mocha and the kids volunteering from techo para Chile that wanted us to fly them to the island about where they were going and how it would be irresponsible for us to take anyone in to the area that was not fully prepared to fend for themselves. Some were showing up at the airport with nothing more than a t-shirt on and a file folder in their hand. We told them to go get camping equipment, food, and water for themselves, because they might not be able to leave for a very long time if the weather changed or something else happened. They started getting the idea that this was not a trip to the mall. Their hearts were in the right place, just they had no experience with those types of situations.
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helibel
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Re: News From Dichato

Post by helibel » Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:02 pm

Wow Tom,
I'm glad your house didn't suffer but I know how this blows a hole in your five year plan. You were most on my mind when we started getting the news. Sending out out all the good vibes, positive energy and prayers to you.
Helen

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Re: News From Dichato

Post by otravers » Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:20 pm

Thanks, great to know how it is "on the ground." I don't understand the policy with burning all the ruble. Is it because it was soaked in sea and/or used water? Nothing that can be salvaged and re-used?

Where are the people whose home was destroyed staying? Do the have tents or other temporary housing? I know some people who lost their home are staying with relatives, but what if you don't know anybody who can host you?

How rain-ready do you reckon the area is going to be?

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Re: News From Dichato

Post by john » Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:13 am

Hi cali,
I'm glad to hear you're now back in Dichato and that your house survived the earthquake and tsunami. I really admire your fortitude and your strong commitment to your new community. I just hope that the pain and sadness your are now experiencing will be fleeting. The very best of luck to you with updating your 5 year plan to, hopefully, still realize your original objectives.
One must care about a world one will not see.
--- Bertrand Russell

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cali_chile48
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Re: News From Dichato

Post by cali_chile48 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:08 am

Thenks, everyone, for your kind comments.

Charles...you are SO right about people who show up to a disater zone completely unprepared to help...no water, no food, no work boots, no tent, no sleepng bag....what the hell???? they show up and take up resources that the people who lived here need....really, it´s better for them to stay away until we can get a restaurant and a hotel open...then we´ll gladly accept their money. if anyone has the idea to come and help...that´s very cool...you are welcome to stay with me....but you MUST be self sufficient and come with something to offer the people here.

otravers....burning the rubble is, i guess, in the mind of the military commanders here, the best way to clear the rubble and protect public health. i see a lot of salvagable wood being burned, wood that could be used for reconstruction, or at least used for firewood for the upcoming winter.....with a little more insight, the labor force could be organized to sort the rubble....wood..metal...plastic..concrete....etc, and dispose of it in a more environmentally friendly way.....there´s no shortage of labor....just a shortage of time and insight.

as for my five year plan...well...i am still more or less on course for that because i didnñt take a big hit from mother nature this time around...from a cold, business perspective, i might even benefit because the value f my property will rise since everyone now understands clearly the concept of ¨higher ground¨, and most of my competition has been eliminated, and dichato made a name for itself for tourists to come see. i have rooms and beds, but there are no restaurants or markets or bars...

there are some rumors going around about government restrictions on new building in the area where the tsunami wrecked everything. i would consider buying a couple of lots (on sale cheap now) and opening a restaurant....but first i have to see what the government says about that. on one hand, i understand the paranoia about another earthquake + tsunami.....on the other hand....this is 500 year event....so what are the chances of another tsunami here in dichato in my lifetime??? pretty small...probably worth the risk.

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Re: News From Dichato

Post by 4heid » Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:05 pm

cali,
i think this is a 25 year event in chile.
It was 1939, 1960, 1985 and 2010 for the region but if you look at the list, (wikipedia, search "list of earthquakes in chile") its actually quite more often if you count the entire country in as there were some 8+ in tarapaca, arica and antofogasta in the last 20 years also.

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otravers
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Re: News From Dichato

Post by otravers » Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:39 pm

A researcher from USGS was quoted as recommending not to rebuild in the areas swept by the tsunami:
http://www.emol.com/noticias/todas/deta ... cia=404083

Our house in Concon is 50 years from the sea but its foundation is at least 10 meters above sea level and it's a 4 story building. It was a very deliberate decision. When we first arrived it really freaked me out to see the tsunami evacuation street signs.

It's just my opinion but if I were in your shoes I'd avoid buying sea-level land unless it's dirt cheap and you have official confirmation you can build on it. And then I'd stick to a lightweight cabana structure for a beach bar or something. Preferably a place whose use excludes sleeping in it (when you're most vulnerable and likely to be caught offguard by a tsunami or stuck under rubble until the waves hit).

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Re: News From Dichato

Post by 4heid » Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:54 pm

I second that one, now does anyone know of any land in that category.

I think like most places of danger, people never learn. Its the same for the people in LA that put houses in a mudslide zone or the areas that always seem to catch fire.

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Re: News From Dichato

Post by Atlantis » Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:12 pm

Hi Cali, you seem to be so full of good spirit and determined to move on quickly. Good for you!
We are still thinking of going to check out Coliumo for the possibility of buying land in September although the look of the area with the village below will have changed. We know that it will take time for people to rebuild but hopefully the ones that DO stay in the area, will be on the hill this time. Good luck with your rebuilding.

A.
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Re: News From Dichato

Post by Gene Gindling » Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:46 pm

I second the congrats on your will, drive and spirit. I only wish some of my property here would sell, so I could start my relocation.
Good luck. I may see you sometime.

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Re: News From Dichato

Post by abdi » Fri Mar 19, 2010 10:23 pm

Hi!

I'm Abdi Ponce.
I was born in Talcahuano and lived till 1993 in San Pedro de La Paz.
I've read in the forum that some of you are willing to cooperate with earthquake relief efforts.
A former classmate works at "Fundacion Integra" and She needs help to organize some services and help delivery for children at Dichato, Tubul and Llico.
She is "Supervisora Tecnica de Modalidades No Convencionales"

If you think that you can do anything that can help those kids (donate toys, candy, etc) or want to contact her directly please PM me.

Thank you very much in advance for your help and assistance.

PS:Sorry but my English is a little rusty.

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