Posted by: gypsytales | March 21, 2010

Tsunami Warning in Vina del Mar

flower clock in Vina del Mar

view from our apartment

After the earthquake we made plans to go to the coast for a couple of days.  We hired an apartment with a terrific view of the sea and spent our days sleeping late, walking along the beach and playing bat and ball.  We also spoilt ourselves and went to the Spa at the Sheraton Hotel where we had massages and relaxed in the Jacuzzi.

watching the ships...corner Sheraton Hotel on RHS

There were daily aftershocks of varying strength, each time raising our fears and causing us to panic.

our apartment

It was the morning the new President was being inaugurated when terror struck once again.  Looking out from our apartment we had a fabulous view of the ocean all the way to Valparaiso.  Just below us was the Sheraton Hotel.  The police presence was evident with some on horseback clopping along the road below and a number of plain clothes police on the roof of the Sheraton Hotel.

We were having breakfast when the building began to rock.  At this time one is always prepared to make a dash for the door.  The aftershock was a little longer than usual but once it had subsided we continued as before.  Within seconds there was a very loud commotion in the street below us.  The police were shouting commands through their loudspeakers, helicopters circled above us and people were fleeing from the Sheraton Hotel.  When I saw the chef running I then knew something must be up and initially thought it was a bomb scare.

I grabbed my jacket and ran outside to find out what was going on.  Everybody was running.  The caretaker of our building saw me and calmly grabbed my arm and told me to hurry, because of the aftershock there was now a Tsunami Warning and everyone had to be evacuated.  Barry was still up in the apartment and I refused to leave him so the caretaker went to call him.  We made our way up a flight of stairs and waited in his apartment together with his wife and daughter, and 3 Mexican students who were staying in the apartment below us.

tsunami warning street signs all over Vina del Mar

All the fear of the earthquake now surfaced again and I could feel my legs begin to wobble under me and I had to find a chair to sit on.  We were given strong coffee and told to relax, we were safe where we were.  Our building was high enough for it not to be affected in the event of a Tsunami.


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