The 8.2 magnitude earthquake that struck 95 miles offshore from the northern city of Iquique on Tuesday spared winemaking regions of Chile. The epicenter was almost 1,600kms north of Santiago and over 1000kms away from the northernmost commercial vineyards in Elqui Valley.
“At 8.2 it was an extraordinarily powerful event, but thankfully it occurred far enough away from the most populous parts of the country,” Wines of Chile USA Director, Marybeth Bentwood said. “We have spoken to the wineries in Chile and have been reassured that there was very little impact on the vineyards, wineries and related industries. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those who were affected by the quake.”
According to reports after the earthquake, six people died in the natural disaster and almost 1 million were evacuated from the coastal homes because of a tsunami warning.
“The Chilean wine industry is united with our compatriots in the north,” commented Wines of Chile Director Claudio Cilveti, “even though this area doesn’t have vineyards, the people and the place are part of our diverse country and as an association we want to send them our thoughts and help encourage their strength to face the difficulties of nature. We are tremendously proud of the strength and courage with which they have faced this phenomena… Long live Chile…”
Chile is one of the most seismically active countries in the world and has a long, troubled history with earthquakes. Most recently in 2010, Concepcion, Maule and the southern coastal towns were devastated by a 8.8 magnitude earthquake followed by a tsunami which claimed 525 lives.
By Amanda Barnes
Photo via @patriciodanielm/Twitter