A miraculous escape


The image was taken from the aftermath of Chile's 9.5 moment magnitude earthquake of 22 May 1960 (the largest earthquake ever recorded). The image is located in UC Berkeley's Seismology Lab.


This is an image of the aftermath of an earthquake that struck Valparaiso in 1906. The image is taken from Wikimedia Commons but originally belonged to a Chilean blog source.

We present here a description of the earthquake and aftershocks from an anonymous survivor of the August 16th earthquake.

Sitting in her room and writing in Calle Blanco, she recognized the first shock as an earthquake due to her former experience of the earthquake in South Africa. She immediately stood against the wall, then rushed for the door to escape, but it was jammed. Looking out from the window, she saw flames burning and houses falling. Hearing screams from people running outside, she called for assistance in vain. As all doors were locked, she was trapped and faced her death, so she put every piece of her last effort into banging against the wall and finally broke a hole through it, lit a candle, and found a stair that led her out. She walked out to the street and witnessed families who shivered and waited for the morning to come. It was a horrifying and unforgettable experience to her, and from that day she learned a lesson: to build houses in Chile people should use special doors and locks for earthquakes, so they do not trap people in their houses.


Earthquake Damage - 1960 from Press Association, May 22, 1960. Retrieved from https://seismo.berkeley.edu/blog/2015/05/22/today-in-earthquake-history-chile-1960.html. Accessed July 22, 2020. No Copyright - United States.

Terremoto Valparaíso 1906 - Teatro de la Victoria from unknown author, 1906. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1906_Valpara%C3%ADso_earthquake. Accessed July 22, 2020. Public Domain - Chile.

A miraculous escape