7.1 Earthquake Rocks Sourthern Chile

The following is an email report submitted by the Divisional Commander for the region affected:

On January 2, 2011 the southern portion of Chile experienced a strong earthquake/tremor, recorded at 7.1, felt throughout the Araucanía and Bío Bío regions of the country. The tremor lasted approximately one minute, which was sufficient time to produce panic and alarm in the area. Telephone lines were down for more than 20 minutes, making it impossible to contact the various appointments in the Chile South Division. We thank God that the situation returned to normal at which time I was able to contact all of our officers. All is well. They have not experienced any injuries or damage.

The epicenter of the tremor was located in Tirúa, near Puerto Saavedra, which is close to Temuco. I am acquainted with the area. Many people spent the night barricaded on the surrounding hills for fear of another tsunami, as well as due to the strength of the tremor. In some sections of that area they are without electricity and water, these services having been cut off due to the earthquake/tremor. There has not been any major damage or loss of life recorded. We ask for your prayers on behalf of the residents of this area and for their families who are still suffering from the trauma of the February 2010 earthquake and who are again in a state of shock. May God bless you this day.