It's been almost 3 days since the earthquake in Chile which affected many regions of the central-south areas, including the region of Santiago. While things are mostly normal here — besides the many closed stores, the many damaged buildings, unusable highway infrastructure in some places, some fallen buildings, zones without electric power, unstable mobile phone networks and a bit more than 30 dead in the region, the disaster here pales in comparison to what can be seen following the coastal line to the south near the region of Maule and Bío-Bío. There's no way I could properly summarize what happened there, so you'd better use Google if you are curious. Many locations look like ruined, flooded, destroyed battlefields.
And yet, opportunists have pillaged around 16 supermarkets in our region so far; some succeeded, but most failed. There was not enough damage on this region to justify such vandalism. Naturally, Concepción and many other locations in the south are also being constantly vandalized, enough to justify passing the control of two regions over to the army to try to keep the order. They haven't completely succeeded, and the vandals have started fires, given false alarms of tsunamis and destroyed or damaged private and public property.
The aftershocks have been scarce today and they've mostly faded out from our point of view in the Santiago region — that is to say, they haven't stopped in Maule and Bío-Bío and it doesn't let those people rest or sleep for much time. A few stronger aftershocks have reached us as well. Fortunately, they are not anything like the original earthquake.
However, they seem not to stop for me. I've been feeling dizzy since the moment I got out of the house during the earthquake and, no matter if I'm on my bed or sitting on a chair or on the toilet, everything feels the same as in the aftershocks, like a big boat on the sea that never stays still. It's very annoying but I still work on stuff and chat on IRC despite of this.
As sad as this is, and as grim as everything may seem, Santiago is mostly alright and we must move on and continue our lives and help however it is possible. But an earthquake with epicenter near our city isn't a terribly far-fetched possibility since we live next to several (relatively inactive) volcanoes, so let's not relax too much either.