How Big Was It?

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

The people of the village of Quenuir, in Chile, have a saying about the 1960 earthquake:

El maremoto fue tan grande que hasta los muertos sacó de sus tumbas. “The tsunami was so big that it even took the dead from their graves.”

The tsunami that followed the 1960 Chile earthquake killed 105 people from Quenuir — a quarter of the village’s population. In addition to this loss of the living, Quenuir lost many of its dead. The village cemetery was located on sandy ground that the tsunami washed away. Debris from the cemetery came to rest more than 3 miles upriver. There, just outside La Pasada, Tulio Ruiz found crosses and a full casket.

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