Wikinews interviews Diego Grez, Chilean earthquake survivor

Thursday, March 4, 2010

File:Diego Grez - 2.jpg

Diego Grez.
(Image missing from Commons: image; log)

An 8.8 magnitude earthquake hit Chile on Saturday, causing significant damage throughout parts of the country. Diego Grez (a Wikinews correspondent by the pen name MisterWiki) was in Pichilemu at the time of the quake. Four days after the quake, Peter Coti, also a Wikinews contributor, was able to chat with Mr. Grez about what happened Saturday morning.


 ((Peter Coti )) What is the status of power, gas and water?

 ((Diego Grez )) The electricity was restored last night, after more than 3 days without radio, cellphone or TV, in a few words, without communication. There was never any problem with the gas or water here in Pichilemu, but there are a near town called Bucalemu that has been 4 days without any of those.

 ((PC )) How is the government responding in your area?

 ((DG )) It has been slow. Mainly, I was surprised because the mayor of the city was not here during the quake. He was far away and he have got here in Sunday. We didn't receive food until yesterday. The people was very scared and the government hasn't been seen after the quake. I went quickly to the nearest hill, to be safe of a possible tsunami without help of anyone.

The Arturo Prat Square before and now. Note those kiosks, that were completely destroyed after the earthquake and the tsunami.
Image: Diego Grez via Flickr.

 ((PC )) What is going on right now?

 ((DG )) We are on the hill right now, far away from my house. I'm very worried about my house.

 ((PC )) Is the infrastructure stable?

 ((DG )) Yes. Fortunately, the most of the Pichilemu houses are secure including mine.

 ((PC )) Are there a lot of people on the hill with you?

 ((DG )) Yes. But every day that passes there are less.

 ((PC )) Can you summarize what happened to you during the quake?

 ((DG )) I was sleeping. My Dad came down from the second floor and said to my Mom that it was a shake. I have to say that my Dad was very scared. My mom went out with my dad. The shake didn't stopped and then they called me and my sister. The house moved from side to side. I really thought it was going to fall. It was 3 or 4 minutes long. After it, when we wanted to go back for cellphone, a radio and clothes (we all were in pajamas), then some aftershocks took place. We then ran the car and changed. Outside there were many other people running to the nearest hill, called Cerro (Hill) La Cruz. The La Cruz Hill was flooded with cars and people crying. It was really a sad situation. In addition of that, people was looting cars. And the people was urinating and excreting anywhere. The hill became very dirty. We stayed on the hill until the day before yesterday. We went to our house. And there didn't happened anything. Just a glass was broken. A strong aftershock happened and we ran away again. Now there's no problem to be there. I can happily say that we had no further problems.

 ((PC )) Is the local hospital operational?

 ((DG )) The ill people were taken to a high school, because of the risk of a new tsunami, but they were taken back soon.

 ((PC )) Thank you for your time and I wish you and your country good luck in the recovery process.

 ((DG )) Thank you.


This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.