I got woken up abruptly, and it was 3:34 in the morning. My bed, which had gone crazy mad shaking was the reason. Not long after I woke from my sleep, I heard my dad shouting “Kids wake up! It is an earthquake”, while he rushed from his room up to ours. Just as I am in my nightmares I was paralyzed at that moment of high pressure; I was unable to move.
Finally, after what seemed to be minutes, my dad was here, I was so happy. He threw off our covers, and carried two sacks of potatoes, my brother and I, down the stairs. While my dad, the hero, carried us down the stairs, I realized that our house was shaking like jelly, a washing machine on a spin cycle. It was insane. Once down the stairs, I was fully awake. I felt like a general in a nuclear war, thinking of every possible outcome.
Once outside, I had seen the tiles of house’s roof were falling out of the sky like meteors. Big-red brick-like structures sliding down my roof, which they used as a ramp. After some seconds of panic, I turned around, and looked at the pool; I saw a lot of small tsunami-like waves impeding my ability to look any further past that point. Loud noises were all around surrounding me, barking, creeping, and crashing they were ubiquitous, but those ear-piercing screams of panic were not. The feel of my white socks on wet, morning grass made me especially cranky. Adding irritable to the list of feelings wasn’t the best way to live through an earthquake.
After the quake had stopped, we proceeded to enter the house. I was not surprised when the lights did not turn on. The water, which would be essential, was not working either. Soon after, we all met in my parents’ bedroom. We gathered some essentials like candles, flashlights, and radio. I remember listening to a radio station called “Radio Bio-Bio,” the only one we were able to reach minutes after the earthquake. That night we all slept together. United. As a family. The next day we faced a critical problem, we had no water, no electricity, and no bathrooms. I can recall asking my dad “where should we go to the bathroom,” he just responded “outside.” I know what you are thinking “eww, gross.” Let me explain, at that time we lived in Pirque, a rural town, 45 minutes away from the capital, Santiago. Our backyard yard was bigger than eight Altona cafeterias.
A day later, February 28, two big things happened. My grandma, Vicky, who lives at the epicenter of the earthquake, was traveling from her house to ours. The earthquake struck at about half way of her journey. Her ride got delayed by 12 hours. Another big event that happened was that Sybilla, one of my family’s best friends, brought us gallons of water, and other essential materials.
After the whole earthquake experience, I came to realize two things. One was kind of funny, but creepy at the same time; the other was deep and incredible. Let’s start with the funny one. Just my luck it was that on February 26th, the night before the earthquake, my family and I watch the movie “2012”, a film where the world ends, there were a lot of massive natural disasters. Earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, and floods were the biggest disasters. I have to admit; I was scared at that time. I was only eight years old, too young to help it, but old enough to remember. The other thing that sparked me as I lived through the earthquake is that I realized how much my family loved me, but most importantly, how much they loved each other. My dad, mom, brother, sister and I were all united for the first time during a real crisis.