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Earthquakes in Chile and What to Do

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Calhoun, Georgia
posts: 5,768
reviews: 32
Earthquakes in Chile and What to Do

After seeing for the umpteenth time people who are surprised it is hurricane season in Cancun in that forum, it occurs to me I have not read about what to do if I am in Chile during an earthquake. Some travelers may not even be aware that is a possibility.

Has anyone local been in an earthquake? What would you advise us to do as travelers in case one would occur while we are there?

Hopefully, it won't happen but I want to have a plan just in case.

I register with the US State Dept. before I travel outside the US. https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/

Santiago, Chile
Destination Expert
for Chile
posts: 8,930
reviews: 22
1. Re: Earthquakes in Chile and What to Do

Registering yourself with your embassy or State Department is the most sensible thing you can do. Most large embassies here have a network of people, not just embassy staff, who are assigned geographical areas with a a list of residents of their nationality in that area. Embassy staff keep a list of registered tourists. You can usually do this by email. The point being that no one can help you if they don't know you are out there. You should contact your embassy here for advice as soon as possible if anything unusual occurs, not just an earthquake. Keep the address and phone numbers of your embassy with your travel documents.

Most injuries in a quake are to people trying to run or to go down stairs, or to people who are injured by falling glass from broken windows. You are safer if you do not panic and only move outside to an open space when movement stops.

I have been in three major earthquakes, over 6 on the Richter scale, and here I am still.

Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for Chile, Santiago
posts: 4,998
reviews: 7
2. Re: Earthquakes in Chile and What to Do

Any earthquake in Chile is unlikely to put your life in danger if you follow a two elemental rules.

1. Do not go outside.

2. Stand under a beam or doorway.

Buildings in Chile are built to high standards to meet most stresses caused by earthquakes. They maybe damaged, but they will not collapse.

Following a damaging earthquake wait inside until you learn from an authorative source what to do next. The authorities in Chile know how to cope.

Calhoun, Georgia
posts: 5,768
reviews: 32
3. Re: Earthquakes in Chile and What to Do

Thank you both. I can't say that I knew those steps for sure.

Here is the US State Department's page about registration with embassies. There is a link that takes you to websites of embassies in all the countries.


Calhoun, Georgia
posts: 5,768
reviews: 32
4. Re: Earthquakes in Chile and What to Do

Here is some more information from the US State Dept. website.

"SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Chile is an earthquake prone country. Information on Chilean earthquake preparedness is available from the Oficina Nacional de Emergencia de Chile (ONEMI) via the Internet at www.onemi.cl (for emergency preparedness guidance in English click on “Guia SIE” on the left side of ONEMI’s homepage). General information about natural disaster preparedness is available via the Internet from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at www.fema.gov. Information about emergency preparedness is also available on the Embassy website, santiago.state.gov."

San Clemente...
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires, Argentina
posts: 10,849
reviews: 5
5. Re: Earthquakes in Chile and What to Do

Hi Reina,

I live in CAlifornia for 6 months of the year so Iam familar with earthquake preparedness. When I was in Santiago this last year, I felt an eartquake in the middle of the night. It was the typical CAli earthquake;quite small so I just rode it out in bed like I do at home.

However, please follow the guidelines as outlined by the previous post and stand in a doorway and stay away from the glass windows.

Don't go running outside so that the building may fall on you and don't use the lifts.

This is why I spend he rest of my year in Buenos Aires; no earthquakes and good food.


Calhoun, Georgia
posts: 5,768
reviews: 32
6. Re: Earthquakes in Chile and What to Do

I would love to live in Santiago part of the year. Earthquakes occur to me as part on the possibilities of living in another country. I appreciate the answers given so far. I plan on writing an Inside Page on this subject. I welcome any input to that page.

Calhoun, Georgia
posts: 5,768
reviews: 32
7. Re: Earthquakes in Chile and What to Do

Here is the Inside Page. tripadvisor.com/Travel-g294291-c13669/Chile:…

Please add to it or make apporpriate changes. I wrote it from the standpoint of an US citizen so I don't have the websites for other nationalities.

8. Re: Earthquakes in Chile and What to Do

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