Stories of heroes after the earthquake

Throughout the entire country hundreds of Chileans made superhuman efforts to help others during the emergency. Here we tell you about some of the more surprising cases.

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12-year-old girl in Juan Fernández warned neighbors of the tsunami

After the powerful earthquake early Saturday morning, the fears of many were fulfilled: a tsunami hit the entire southern coast of Chile and even reached Hawaii. One of the places in Chile that was hardest hit by the waves was the Juan Fernandez Archipelago, a small group of islands with a population of close to 600 people.

Because it is over 600 kilometers from the Chilean coast, the earthquake was not felt on the island and its inhabitants were unaware of the tsunami risk. Luckily, the 12-year-old Martina Maturana looked out the window and saw that the boats in the bay were rocking and crashing into each other. Forewarned, she ran to the town square and beat the gong located in the park’s center to sound the alarm. The neighbors woke up and ran to high ground, thus saving the lives of many locals.

Police officer warned of tsunami in Pichilemu

Chaos reigned in the O’Higgins Region, specifically on the popular beaches of Pichilemu, following the earthquake that shook the central part of the country at around 3:30 AM last 27 February.

Amid the confusion, Carabineros (national police) Corporal José Arévalo picked up a megaphone to warn tourists of the imminent tsunami. His actions allowed the hundreds of people in the pubs along the coast and on the beach to run for the hills, which became the safest shelter for thousands of Chileans that night.

Twitter user created tool for people traveling on the highway

Using the report by the Public Works Ministry (MOP) a Chilean user of the website Twitter.com published a map with all of the problems affecting Highway 5 South, the main motorway connecting the southern part of the country.

In addition Max Reid, the name with which he identifies himself in social networks, added information with alternative routes for people wishing to go to help their families or the thousands of people left homeless.

To this end the map gives a brief description of the problem on the road and its approximate location, making transportation to the areas hardest hit by the natural disaster faster.

Driver picked people on Highway Five South up for Free

Johannes Krasuse: that is the name of the driver who joined the thousands of anonymous heroes that can be found in Chile today. He decided to use his bus to provide free transportation to all the people he found along Highway Five South.

Despite the fact that he was unaware of the road’s conditions, the driver left Talcahuano, one of the areas most devastated by the earthquake, and started on a long trip that took him as far as Puerto Montt. “For me it was miraculous, after leaving the area of Talcahuano and wandering distant roads until reaching the highway, to come across that Tur Bus, especially because the driver did something really remarkable,” highlighted Manuel Bagnara, who saved himself and managed to reach Puerto Montt after a 20-hour trip.

Other stories on how Chile is organizing to prepare assistance can be found here.

This post is also available in Spanish