In February, exchange student
Rickey Bodle (sponsored by the Rotary Club of
McMinnville, Oregon, USA) took part in relief
efforts led by Chilean Rotarians after an
earthquake devastated parts of the country.
Mac student helps with quake relief
some cities, nearlly every buiding was damaged in
the 8.8 earthquake.某些城市的所有建築物幾乎毀於8.8級地震之中。
High student Rickey Bodle wasn't alarmed when he
awoke in a shaking bed the morning of Saturday, Feb.
27. "Chile is an extremely active area for tremors,
so I thought nothing of it," said Bodle, who is
spending the year there on a Rotary Club exchange
shaking not only continued, it became worse. So he
jumped out of bed and headed for the stairs in his
host family's house.
reached the bottom step, he heard members of his
host family screaming for him. "They quickly grabbed
me into their tight circle as we all held on to one
another," he recalled in an e-mail interview with
sister and mother began praying as the earth shook
and growled. "It sounded as though the world was
falling about around us," he said.
just experienced a major earthquake, widely reported
as an 8.8 on the Richter scale.
staying in La Ligua, about 90 minutes north of the
capital of Santiago. The quake's epicenter was off
the coast of Concepcion, in southern Chile.
reportedly registered between 7.6 and 8 in Santiago,
still very powerful. It caused extensive damage in
Chile, which occupies a long, narrow band along the
western coast of South America, and triggered
tsunamis wreaking additional havoc.
initial panic subsided with the tremors, Bodle said
he and his host family faced a new worry - the fate
of friends and relatives.
brother had gone to Vina del Mar with his
girlfriend. Cell phone service was down, so he
couldn't be reached for hours.
other parts of Chile couldn't be reached either.
slept that night," he said. In addition to their
worries about people they couldn't contact, he said,
"It would have been impossible, with the constant
bombardment of tremors providing reminders of what
damaged between La Ligua and Santiago, and power and
water lines were disrupted.
his host family had a good supply of water on hand.
"The only worry we have is if another big quake hits
and a tsunami comes," said Bodle, whose host brother
turned out to be safe.
e-mailing friends, relatives and Rotarians back home
as soon as he could to let them know he was all
right and keep them posted on what he was doing.
As soon as
they could use their cell phones. Bodle said, "My
host sister and brother and I called as many people
as we could and gathered supplies to send to
Concepcion." He said his host sister planned to drop
them off for distribution at the Catholic university
volunteered with relief efforts being led by Chilean
Rotary clubs. "I am proud to say that I am able to
be a part of this effort," he told local Rotarians.
e-mail exchange with the News-Register, Bodle said
he joined Chilean Rotarians to take food and
clothing to Talca, a city that was "pretty much
normally is about a four-hour drive from La Ligua,
he said. But due to damaged roads and bridges, it
took eight hours.
police had to escort them part of the way to ward
off bandits, who have been taking advantage of the
places, their route wasn't in bad shape. But in
others, Bodle said, "The road had simply slid down
the hill, been uplifted, or was in so many pieces
that it was left impassible."
Rotarians met the La Ligua contingent about an hour
from the city and took them to an outlying area to
deliver the first of their supplies. They passed a
church that "looked on the verge of collapsing" from
extreme damage, Bodle said.
area "looked like the ruins of a ghost town, but
instead of being empty, people still had to
survive," he said.
unloaded some of their supplies at a nearby school -
noodles, rice, sugar, water, tea, coffee, oil,
clothes and other items.
The aid was
sorely needed, Bodle said. "These people had
nothing, but Rotary had come to help and give to
them that which one needs to survive."
Rotarians also brought the special sweets for which
La Ligua is famous. "The people were ecstatic to see
us, and the kids ran alongside our cars laughing,"
everything, these were probably some of the happiest
people I have ever known. Their happiness came from
still having their families intact and well."
and his group went into the city of Talca.
"post-apocalyptic," he said, noting, "Nothing was
In one spot,
they encountered an area where debris and animal
bodies had been dumped. "The smell was overwhelming
and putrid. It was the smell of death," he said.
said, residents of Talca were going on with their
lives. He saw some sitting atop the rubble of bus
stops and houses.
One man sang
of his sadness, providing his own accompaniment on a
guitar, said Bodle, who plans to remain until