TOME, CHILE (March 13, 2011) – Members of the Chile Covenant Church in Tomé opened their homes on higher ground for families that had been evacuated from low-lying areas due to fears that a tsunami unleashed by the Japan earthquake would hit the area.
Although damage has been minor along the coast, some roads have been closed due to flooding and water and power have been lost in some areas, Pastor Luciano Silva said on Saturday. “The sea is still irregular and high waves appear every hour or so. Last night, the rivers overflowed and many people were evacuated by police.”
The damage was not nearly as severe as that caused by the tsunami that slammed into the area February 27, 2010, killing at least 19 in Dichato and wiping out much of the former tourist attraction. Silva said this time, “The town of Dichato was again the most affected as boats and other small craft were overturned by the waves. Some restaurants and homes that were being rebuilt were damaged.”
The 2010 tragedy remains fresh in the minds of residents in the region. “Spiritual and emotional concerns were evident as people ‘relived’ the events,” Silva said. “What has brought us much peace during this event is that there has been no looting and order has been preserved.”
Silva added that he is grateful to the Evangelical Covenant Church for its “care, commitment, and concern.”