SANTIAGO DE CHILE, Chile- Breaking fears from the Chilean government revealed the Earthquake Preparedness and Disaster Management Authority was fearful the City would not attract as much media attention and by extension plane loads of aid and goodwill sms's from the people of the world as Haiti.
Though the quake that hit Santiago was a hundred times stronger than the “Voodoo quake”, officials were concerned this event of major magnitude in the country's recent history would go unnoticed similar to the '10 seconds of fame quake' on the 26th of February 2010 in Okinawa, Japan which the U.S Geological Survey put at 7.3 on the Richter scale, the Japan Meteorological Agency at 6.9 and which Newsync gave the scientifically indisputable average of 7.1.
Reporters defended the news black out.
“For starters neither a single soul was lost, nor a single injury reported in that one. No fires, no looting and the Nishihara refinery continued supplying it's 100,000 barrels per day-business as usual. That's not my idea of groundbreaking news” said Jairuchi Teremoto an iReporter from the Okinawa prefecture
“It didn't help much Chile managed to gather a bigger tremblor barely 24hrs later” he added.
" in the news they said the quake might have moved the earth a bit form it's axis thus affecting the lenghth of day. I hate it when that happens" said a Hawaiian beach goer
Though Chilean authorities were pleased the quake did not claim as many islanders as it's next door neighbour in the Carribean some hawks within thought it ought to.
“ I think we are quickly becoming victims of our own success at managing these natural crises with each quake claiming lesser and lesser lives. This eventually means less financial support, media coverage and goodwill messages which are key ingredients for a quick [economic] recovery and reconstruction” said a crisis management official whom we will call a Pro-quaker.
“I think the local authorities should seriously reconsider their building and construction guidelines; 'relax the bureaucracy' a bit especially with regards to residential areas and our emerging skyline just to see how far things can go. Dreadful will be the day when a 9.0 hits us and it's like the roar of a passing train in a concrete jungle- routine” he said.
“I wouldn't like us to end up like Japan”added the Pro-quaker
Meanwhile, President Obama promised his Chilean counterpart Michelle Bachelet of his administration's full support and commitment in reconstruction and relief efforts at the same time personally conveying the American people's goodwill messages during this time, their time of need [and attention].
But he also warned the Islanders against pushing their luck when they asked about the possibility of a 'We Are The World 25 For Chile'.
“At least Kenya has taken note, a country 12,000 kms[8,000miles] away. That has a special meaning to me and you should be thankful” said Obama in reference to the mapping work of the crisis group Ushahidi
Here's The Ushahidi Story [without permission: www.lamukenya.co.uk ]
"All we needed was a computer and a fast internet connection," said Erik Hersman, one of the team of volunteers based in Nairobi.
Ushahidi is an online mapping tool that can be used to collect and plot reports coming in from citizens via e-mail, SMS or even Twitter.
Messages plotted on Ushahidi's map of Chile already include: "Send help. I'm stuck under a building with my child. We have no supplies".
The intention is that emergency services can then use that information to target their efforts.
"We aggregate the citizen data and visualise it so that it can be used more easily," said Mr Hersman, who is just one of a team that spans Malawi, Uganda, Ghana, South Africa and the US.
“First strike Haiti we mostly watched, lost a citizen or maybe two. Second strike Okinawa, didn't even notice. Third strike, we had to do something. Am proud to be Kenyan” concluded Hersman.