Earthquakes

Earthquakes in Chile happen frequently and, as you can probably guess, without warning. Santiaguinos usually claim with a touch of smugness that ‘they are used to them’, but in the circumstances this proves often untrue. Although the shake-ups rarely last longer than a minute, mass hysteria becomes widespread, but it’s easily forgotten and joked about once it’s all over. The city is well prepared and disciplined enough to return to its daily business after the occurrence of these phenomena. The great majority of modern buildings in Santiago are earthquake-proof, and you will generally be safe indoors without the need to evacuate during the tremor. Think of it this way, whatever was bound to collapse in an earthquake, has probably already done so. Some people, however, will feel the natural impulse to get out to the streets, and though this is not necessarily the best option to follow, you should be prepared to act in the event of a severe quake. General rule is to keep away from windows or objects that can break (or fall) and injure you. You’ll be all the more protected from falling objects if you take cover under structures such as tables. Once the earthquake is over, avoid making a phone call as lines may be prone to collapse. Do check local news reports and follow internal evacuation procedures if you are in an enclosed premises.