The news was dominated five years ago by the story of the 33 trapped Chilean Miners. I wrote a post about a newborn baby called Esperanza [Hope] But this week it has almost gone unnoticed by the media that there has been a huge tsunami in Chile. One million people evacuated. Yes, ONE MILLION. By the grace of God, only 11 people were killed in the massive earthquake - due to precautions put in place after the last quake in 2010 when an 8.8-magnitude quake witnessed failings on the part of the monitoring network and system for alerting people to the imminent tsunami threat. Since then, the Chilean government has spent millions upgrading the country's seismic network of sensors, and made improvements to telecommunications systems that share critical information and warnings. But there has still been much destruction this week
The earthquake struck as thousands of Chileans were travelling to the coast ahead of a week of celebrations for independence day. President Michele Bachelet cancelled some of Friday's official festivities – and went to visit the stricken people and see the relief efforts for herself. Tsunami waves were felt along the west coast of the US and Canada. A one-metre high wave also reached in Hawaii.
But it does seem that there are many other things occupying the attention of the news media. I appreciate the importance of reports about the Syrian Refugee Crisis, and I expected items about Corbyn and Sturgeon, and the inevitable Rugby stuff. I have been rather frustrated that these events in Chile have barely made it into news bulletins, and instead I have heard about Dr Who, robots, urinating cows, and the odious Jeremy Clarkson coming back to the BBC.
I think that this morning, while Bob is busy at church, I’ll make some Chilean Empañadas, and spend time remembering the people of Chile who have lost so much. May God bring them comfort and hope.