Public reaction


A public execution of looters

Despite imposing immense damages to Vine Del Mars, Chileans were surprisingly calm as they went about resolving the situation most likely because they had learned to cope with such disasters. The city soon revived thanks to the collective efforts of the government and public. Within 30 hours, the telegraphic systems in Casablanca and a part of Santiago were restored. The government did not hesitate to apply stern military punishments for pillaging, incendiarism and rape in which around 160 criminals were executed. As the city’s order was restored, many citizens volunteered to work for medical services. Everything was done with the greatest calmness and discipline: People helped each other out, behaving with good fellowship and decorum across the city. Although no one could predict the city’s future, this positive spirit brought out hope and optimism in people. 


From outside Chile, the Argentine Republic, Peru, and Ecuador all supplied resources into the country. Rebuilding the city and rehoming its people was the priority, especially rebuilding Valparaiso, because it was the chief commercial port for international trading. In architecture, because Valparaiso had already experienced damage from the earthquakes of 1820, 1851, and 1879 and was identified as a dangerous zone, people decided to build houses designed for earthquake resistance, using irons coated with zinc layers and higher quality irons, the materials that against the fire.  Reconstruction not only helped the city’s representation but also provided jobs for people, rescuing Valparaiso from the edge of an economic crisis.


Gómez Carreño, el "sheriff" que controló Valparaíso en el sismo de 1906 from unknown author, August 29, 1906. Retrieved from Accessed June 04, 2021. Public Domain - Chile.

Public Reaction