Monday, 20 December 2010

Newcomer of the year... Chile

Andes, Chile
Prior to 2010, my only memories of Chile hitting the news were 2001, when it banned asbestos importing/exporting and 2008, when Miss Chile took out the Miss World pageant!

But it has been a different story in 2010.

First there was the earthquake off the coast of the Maule Region on February 27th. It measured 8.8 on the MMS (the successor to the Richtor scale for those no in the know), lasted 90 seconds and killed 486 people.

Hundreds of thousands of homes were destroyed, 50% of the country was declared a 'disaster zone' and at least one prison riot ensued.

It is estimated to have cost the insurance industry 4-7 billion dollars. Humanitarian aid was plentiful from around the world, even though the Chilean government originally thought they didn't need it and, somehow, Chile survived (even the resultant Tsunamis).

And then, on August 5th, there was an accident at the San-Jose copper-gold mine near Copiapo bringing Chile into the limelight again.

A cave-in left 33 miners 700 metres underground for 69 days. While the accident may have highlighted some safety issues for the mining industry in Chile (and the rest of the world), the amazing rescue on October 13th left Chile the world leaders in mine rescue.

No-one could believe that all miners had survived. No-one could believe they managed to get the men out before their Christmas deadline. It was all smiles in Chile.

Here's hoping for a little less 'drama' in Chile in 2011.

What is your nomination for the most talked about country in 2010?


life in a pink fibro said...

Hmmm. I"d never closely considered this question, but you're right, I've heard more about Chile in 2010 than ever before. I think I'd add Haiti to the list - earthquake, cholera... those people have endured more than their fair share in 2010 as well.

Kymmie said...

I like the way you think. I can't think of another country (apart from our own) that rings so many bells. May 2011 be a better year for the exotic country. Back to our own - why are we so equally divided by our political parties? Geesh, that would have made life so much easier for many of us this year! xx

Maxabella said...

Year on year, NZ continues to punch above its weight. Political wranglings, earthquakes, UFO sightings, some random Hobbit threatening to boycott... x

Blocks and Knocks said...

Hmmm, I'm hard pressed thinking about much these days except nappies and who ate what last, but I think the US of A always gets it's fair share of news good and bad, every single year.

Kelly said...

Lets hope 2011 is a better year for Chile ☼

Anonymous said...

Chile did get a good look in this year didn't it. Wonder whats in store for them next year...

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