LatAm:Quake kills, but teaches too

Part One: One month after quake, Ecuador quiet but vexed for reconstruction

The president feels partly relieved, as he sees the quake victims settling down in the tents.

(Soundbite) Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador
“Let them come to the official shelters. Here we can guarantee safety, hygiene, food, water, energy and attention to children. Please come to the official shelters.”

One month after the 7.8-magnitude temblor devastated Ecuador and killed over 660 people on April 16, life becomes quiet again in the Pacific coastal province of Manabi.

What impressed the villagers most was the quick reaction of Chinese rescuers, who dragged their relatives from rubble and set up temporary shelters for them.

(Soundbite) Cintia Briones, Quake Victim
“Wholeheartedly, thousands and millions of thanks for your help. I am too grateful with all my heart and if you can continue to help us, the appreciation will continue. Thank you very much.”

Over 30,000 homeless nationals and their collapsed houses are the obvious headache for the government, especially in Manabi, the hardest hit area.

Correa’s administration has estimated that the reconstruction work nationwide will cost 2 to 3 billion U.S. dollars and may take years to complete.

The government attributed the tragic damage to the low quality and standard of house building, which might be a lesson for the South American country to draw in the future.

Part Two: Chile adopts combination of measures against quake

If you talk about forecasting earthquakes and clustering measures to counter their impact, Chile, sitting on the rim of the Pacific seismic belt, would be the case in point.

Frequent jolts have taught the country on the souther tip of America to be smarter for facing the nature’s ferocious harrassment or even destruction.
(Soundbite) Sergio Barrientos, Director of National Seismological Centre of Chile
“We now have a hundred stations across the country, and we are adding stations that measure the deformation of the geodetic system via satellite. This network allows us to have the most advanced technology available”

Chile has a nationwide quake-supervising network featuring satellites and power-generating facilities, as well as quake-resistant regulations for house building that are renewed annually.

More importantly, its people are consistently updated with anti-disaster knacks and skills.

(Soundbite) Sergio Barrientos, Director of National Seismological Centre of Chile
“Education through drills, for example, helps complete the knowledge about the threat. By taking preventive measures, building codes and determining which parts of territory are threatened help us establish a resilient society (against natural catastrophes).”

Thanks to the combination of anti-quake solutions, on September 16, 2015, a tremor measuring 8.4 degree on the Richter scale rocked the northern Chilean city of Coquimbo, but only killed 15 people and injured five.

Chile tells us that precaution should be prioritized, thus helping save on reconstruction, and, having an efficient disaster management system is essential for addressing those challenges.

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