February 27, 2010 from Los Ángeles
LOS ÁNGELES – Another memory of February 27, 2010. This time from Sebastián Sölter, who was in Los Ángeles at the time. If you have a story of your own you would like to share, please let us know. Leave a comment below, or email to [email protected]
Friday, a perfect day. A lot of my projects went perfectly during the week and I just could relax for a while. I was that happy that I started to eat some cheeses along with an excellent wine with my wife, Maca. Meanwhile, my daughters played with me, making me feel proud to be their father and my wife’s husband. Everything was perfect in my life. I stayed a little bit longer awake that night, staring at the stars on the sky with a whiskey in my hand. Finally I fell asleep with a smile on my face. (I had posted on my facebook wall “Life is sweet”…)
I woke up and finally I went to bed, but there was a mosquito I had to kill because it awakened me at 3:20. In that moment the earth started to quake. We all were on the second floor of the house located in Los Ángeles. The house was shaking as if someone would be shaking it with a blender. With my wife we took the children out of their beds and we all stayed under the door frame waiting until the quake finished. But it started to increase its intensity and more violently. Suddenly, the lights went off, furniture fell down, and we could hear many things breaking up and also a deep sound like a runaway train, the typical sound that appears when there is a quake.
In that moment I started to remember how I felt during the 1985 earthquake, so I could see myself in my daughters’ reaction. In that moment I began to question myself about God’s existence, because there were two little girls left to the mercy of fate and we all could have died right there. I wondered if this would the end of the world the Mayans predicted, or if it was part of a new Valdivia earthquake; and if my family would be feeling the same.
There were so many things on my mind during those three minutes, that I could perfectly write a book about feelings, fears, terror, and many other feelings. On the one hand, my 6 year old daughter was so calm that I could not believe it, she tried to calm us down; on the other hand, however, the 3 year old one, was screaming , because she did not understand anything. She was so shocked about the quake that she started to scream after any knock on the door or any simple noise.
When the quake finished, the first thing I did was to take my cell phone, but there was no signal. Emergency lights and flashlights were not at hand. Fortunately, the landline telephone was still available, so I called my mother in Santiago, my father in law, my wife’s grandmother, my brothers… they all were alive.
We all went to sleep in the same bed, waking up because of the aftershocks. The next morning, thanks to our battery operated radio we could hear the quake was heavier that we thought and went I went to my city’s downtown I could realized how terrible it was for other families. A friend’s mother died under a wall; parents of another friend were in the ICU after being under debris for many hours. Other people lost everything, houses, family, appliances, and life.
That feeling of hate and injustice now become into a feeling of appreciation and gratitude because there was nobody hurt nor dead. I feel relieved again, but I still question myself about the God existence, since I cannot understand why so many humble people had to died, and so many people now stealing and plundering from those who do not have anything else to lose. We are like monkeys that do not understand the world we live in.