A 12 year-old girl saved the lives of scores of inhabitants of Juan Fernandez archipelago, 373 miles from the Chilean coastline, when she sounded the alert following an earthquake.
A Giant tsunami wave descended on their islands — an after-effect of the devastating 8.8 earthquake that struck Concepcion, in central-southern Chile on Saturday.
“According to La Tercera newspaper, the child, named Maritna Maturana, learned about the strong quake through her grandfather, a mainland resident of Valparaíso, and ran to the center park of Robinson Crusoe, the archipelago’s main island, sounding the gong that is is the town’s main emergency alarm.
“The sound woke several townspeople, who also started sounding bells and running towards the highlands, minutes before a giant wave destroyed a good portion of the land. So far, 8 fatalities and 13 missing have been reported.
“The daughter of an officer stationed on Robinson Crusoe island, she noticed the earthquake as a mild tremor, though she warned her father, who in turn called Valparaíso to inquire on the well-being of their family.
“Upon learning the magnitude of the earthquake, the girl watched out the window and saw that the boats anchored at the bay jumped and crashed among each other, and then she ran to the town center to sound the alarm, saving many lives among the 700 islanders.
“Valparaíso governor Ricardo Bravo traveled this Sunday to the archipelago, and said “nothing was left”.
“He explained that waves entered 300 meters into island territory and destroyed homes of some 200 inhabitants, who were housed in neighboring homes.
The earthquake’s death toll has reached 711.
Translated by Alina Madrid from the story at www.eluniversal.com