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    Posted February 28, 2010 by
    Viña del Mar, Chile
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Earthquakes in Chile

    Chile earthquake


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     'The earthquake was the most awful experience of my life,' said MarionChile. 'We were totally helpless, we had nowhere else to shelter, we were just hoping it would stop quickly before too much damage would be done.' She shot these photos hours after the quake on Saturday.
    - katie, CNN iReport producer

    I was sleeping on the 18th floor of a recently built apartment building in Reñaca, Viña del Mar, when I suddenly woke up to a strong tremor. The tremor grew stronger and remained strong for about 2 minutes, during which everything fell inside the condo. The TV sets fell on the floor, so did my computer, the frams hanging from the walls, the kettle that was on top of the stove fell, so did the toaster, the huge fridge slid 15 centimeters forward, the water from the toilet tanks spilled out and soaked the floor of the bathrooms... We couldn't see anything since the power was out, and had to use our cell phone as a flashlight. We walked 17 floors down the stairs to check everybody and on the state of the building, which got some minor cracks. In the afternoon, we went to Valparaiso, 6 miles South of Viña del Mar, and saw quite a bit of damage, although some of it had already been fixed by crews in the early morning.

    We were impressed as electricty and water were back within the next 6 hours here in Reñaca. There were two fires in Reñaca due to gas leaks, but our building seems ok.

    I am very impressed by how well the buildings were able to take such a strong earthquake (it was recorded as a 7.8 here in Viña, which is about 600 km North of the epicenter). Beside closed stores and empty streets, nothing shows that we just endured a massive earthquake yesterday here.

    So far, we have had over 100 aftershocks, the strongest one here being this morning's 6.2 at 8:25AM. Now, the aftershocks are a lot less frequent than yesterday. I have felt only 5 since this morning's strong tremor.

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