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Was it luck or preparedness? What explains the low death toll in Chile’s earthquake?

RTR3JOHRJonathan Franklin, reporter for The Guardian newspaper, believes it was more a matter of luck. “When the first reports come in of an 8.2 magnitude earthquake, it’s clear that this could provoke a massive tsunami,” he says. “In this case, it didn’t… for the size and energy released in this quake, Chile really dodged a bullet because it could have been far worse.” Franklin, who’s based in Santiago, says residents there didn’t feel the quake, but that every one is shaken…

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Chile hit by powerful quake aftershock, no major damage

President Michelle Bachelet, who had gone to the area to inspect the damage from the earlier quake, was evacuated from her hotel in the city of Arica. “I was evacuated like all the citizens and we have come here (to Arica’s emergency office) to see if there is any way we can help,” she said late on Wednesday night. The area is home to many of the biggest mines in Chile, the world’s top copper producer…

 

Resilience on the ground

It is easy to theorize about what went wrong when typhoon Yolanda swept through the central Philippines in November last year. What is daunting is the task of putting the Yolanda experience in the context of the individual situations of each hard -hit community, in relation to the loss of lives and damage to property and livelihood that ensued. Policies and programs hatched in the macro level serve a purpose but will be meaningless if not cascaded to, and implemented by, the local government units, specifically in the city/municipal and barangay levels…

 

No National System to Track Landslide Hazards

Unlike the warning systems and elaborate maps that help residents and officials prepare for natural disasters such as floods and hurricanes, there’s no national system to monitor slide activity and no effort underway to produce detailed nationwide landslide hazard maps. The U.S. Geological Survey doesn’t track or inventory slide areas on a national scale, despite an ambitious plan to do so more than a decade ago when Congress directed it to come up with a national strategy to reduce landslide losses…

 

Emergency Volunteers

Who would you think is the most important person to handle emergencies in your community? Most people would say in times of disasters and other emergencies in the order of importance are the following:

1. Police

2. Fire

3. Medical Personal

4. Public or Volunteers

But in reality during times of great emergencies and disasters trained Volunteers become the most available and therefore the most important. The facts are that immediately after a large scale disaster Police, Fire, and medical personal will be over whelmed and may not be available for hours, days or even weeks…

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