“Never in my life have I experienced a quake like this. It is like the end of the world.”
These are the words of one man caught up in a catastrophe that has spread terror in Chile and beyond.
“I am still in my pyjamas,” said a survivor in Santiago. “Things fell, lamps and a television fell and broke. Everything must have broken. The ventilator also fell. Imagine the scare we had.”
Priority is being given to dealing with the most complicated problems, according to one emergency services official. “We are seeing to people stuck in lifts,” he said.
Her home destroyed, a woman expressed her devastation.
“I have no house front, no windows, no door, and the difficulty now is knowing whether it is habitable or not. I mean, we are afraid to go back in, in case it falls down. I have been holding back my emotions. I hope I won’t be forgotten about. I have reached breaking point,” she said, wiping away a tear.
Their president has urged the Chilean people to remain calm. As the full scale of this disaster becomes increasingly apparent, many more tears are likely to be shed.