Kathy and I both left Chile last Saturday night, just before the country-wide power outage. Kathy went to Florida to visit her father and I made my way safely back to Bow, here in WA. So we are both safe now.
I would like to thank all of you for your messages and support during this unique trip south. We appreciated it very much.
The ground was still shaking when we left the airport in Santiago. We experienced aftershocks every day we were there. Another heavy quake apparently hit Concepcion two days ago. I was told today that GPS measurements indicate that the city is now ten feet further west than it was prior to the quake.
The airport was another unusual experience. Due to the roof of the building failing, passengers are routed to a series of outdoor tents to check in and deliver their bags. From there everyone enters one relatively undamaged concourse and awaits their bus out to their respective planes. One agent I talked with says they don't expect to be back to normal for another month. The scanners are also offline so Kathy had to go through a physical pat-down before boarding, so back to the old ways.
Back in the US, I visited Summit Bank in Burlington yesterday. They have been truly wonderful in helping out with the relief fund that we started and Jim Bishop, bank president, deserves alot of thanks for assisting us so gladly with this effort. To date, we have raised over $3,000 for the relief effort.
We have set up a means of wiring the funds to the fishermens coop through an influential friend in Chile, a prominent businessman, and will be doing so this week.
The road is open again to the beach and they are all working hard to get back up and running to provide fish to Santiago. We have heard that in some areas, the price of fish has jumped by a factor of ten since the quake, so you can imagine how important it is to get them back on their feet.
Thank you all for your generous support for the Chilean people. What you have done is truly wonderful.