By: Nicole Eisenberg>Freshman>Business>UMD
On any other Saturday morning, Cornell University freshman, Max Meneveau would have been able to leisurely enjoy some brunch and begin his studies. However, on Saturday February 27th, he awoke to seven text messages, two missed calls, and a voicemail telling him that an earthquake of 8.8 on the Richter scale hit Chile early that morning.
Max, along with many other American and worldwide citizens, has family and friends that live in Chile. As he watched, the news of over two million people displaced and over seven hundred lives taken were not just statistics; however, they were a cause of worry that one of the Chilean citizens could be his grandmother, aunt, uncle, cousin, or friend.
Later in the day, after the stories were passed through many different people, Max learned that his grandma got out of bed as soon as the quaking started, and seconds later, the wall nearest her bed fell down. She held onto one wall, and after the tremors ceased, as Max explains, “it was as if by some miracle, it was the only wall still standing”. It is really important that “people are really nice to each other, and my grandmother’s neighbors came to help her out of her house. She is currently staying with them.”
Fortunately, Chile’s strictly enforced building codes and more accelerated economy has prevented damage as extensive to the country as a whole than that done in Haiti this past January. The damage that has been done both in Chile and around the world, however, has changed the lives of millions. Families and friends in the international community have bonded together to endure the after shock earthquakes and tsunami waves that put millions more people in the Pacific Basin on high alert and the subsequent damage.
In response, President Obama gave a short speech announcing that the United States stands by the nation of Chile in their time of need and has resources that will support the country in their rescue and relief efforts at the ready if Chilean president, Michelle Bachelet, asks for the United States’ aid.
Although this quake is the fifth largest earthquake recorded in the world since 1900 and tore down millions of walls throughout the world, the global community has remained sturdy throughout this catastrophe and plans to recover from this disaster together by re-building one brick at a time.
What is your campus doing to help Chile?