So, last night we had another pretty big aftershock at around 11pm (we had two yesterday...which we haven't had a big one since Sunday, and a medium one on Monday. Nothing on Tuesday besides tremors.) So I decided to look on a map to discover what magnitude it was (although as I've said before, I'm getting pretty good at guesstimating.) The closer an aftershock is (obviously) and the shallower it is, the more things move. The last one was pretty close, so it felt pretty strong. It's a very strange sensation...almost as if I'm on a boat, even though I was just standing in my bathroom flossing.
Anyway, to put things into perspective for you, I'm going to share some statistical data with you. This will show you how shaky my life has been for the last 5 days (and I think it's wearing on me, because I've been very tired today even though I've been able to sleep in decently the last few days, and that last aftershock kind of put me on edge more than the other ones have. It's VERY wearing to always be reminded that the place where you're living isn't necessarily safe and you never know when it will happen again. It's like sitting on a ticking bomb that every once in a while starts beeping after having come out of no where with a preliminary explosion.) Anyway.....
As you know, there was a decent sized earthquake in Haiti in January. It was a 7.0 at its epicenter. Here is a map of it and its 43 aftershocks... http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/aftershocks/?event=2010rja6&network=us
What you may not know, is that about 10 hours before our earthquake here in Chile, there was a decent sized one in Japan that was also a 7.0 at its epicenter. It's still having aftershocks. Here are two maps, one of all of Asia..... http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Maps/region/Asia.php
and one of a 10 degree window near the epicenter..... http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Maps/10/125_25.php
Notice that in the 10 degree window it shows only 20 earthquakes/aftershocks as of 10pm EST on Wednesday... (this number may change a bit by the time you see this, but the ratio should be about the same). Notice that the map of all of Asia only shows about 61 earthquakes/aftershocks.
Now, our earthquake at its epicenter was 8.8 which I'm sure you know....Here in Santiago it felt like a 7.0 (same as Haiti and Japan). However, the notable difference is in the sheer number of aftershocks (and many of them have been quite large, in contrast with the other two countries' earthquakes). Here is a map of a 10 degree window of Chile (same size as that one from Japan that I showed you)...... http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Maps/10/290_-35.php
Notice, as of 10pm EST on Wednesday, there are ONE HUNDRED AND NINETY SEVEN earthquakes/aftershocks.
Can you even imagine how old this is getting? For a fleeting second after that aftershock tonight I wanted to hop on a plane and get out of here for good and go to safe, little New Jersey where an occasional snowstorm is the biggest of our worries. I'm trying not to have a spirit of fear, but it isn't always easy. I'm VERY glad that I decided to cancel classes until Monday. Who knows how long this is going to go on!!
Well, keep praying. If this is just now starting to get to me, someone who hasn't really been scared at all since that initial 3 minutes of craziness, imagine how the people are faring who've been freaked out for 5 days straight!!