The Viña del Mar Festival on Thursday paid tribute to the 525 victims of the earthquake and tsunami that ravaged Chile on February 27, 2010, on the tenth anniversary of the tragedy.
“That day at 3.34 in the morning, Chile was hit hard. One of the worst earthquakes and tidal waves in our history. In just 4 minutes that seemed eternal, more than 500 compatriots lost their lives,” said Maria Luisa Godoy, presenter from the festival, at the beginning of tonight’s shows.
The telluric movement, which shook 80% of the population, caused a tsunami that devastated the coast of the center-south of the country, destroying towns such as Dichato, Constitución and Talcahuano.
Martín Cárcamo, the other presenter of the festival, remarked in his speech on the stage of the Quinta Vergara – venue of the event – that “despite the pain”, the country knew how to get up and stood up “again.”
“All Chileans were able to unite in a pact of hope, reconstruction and a look towards the future,” he added.
There is the situation that on the day of the earthquake the 51st edition of the festival was also being celebrated, whose sixth and last night ended up being suspended.
This Thursday, the official commemoration of the 10 years of the 8.8 magnitude earthquake and the subsequent tsunami, which in addition to the deceased left thousands of victims, put the focus on the resilience shown by the Chilean people to overcome catastrophic episodes.
A feeling that was also present in the contest of Viña del Mar, whose 61 edition has been marked by the social crisis that the country has been experiencing for 4 months, with protests that cry out against social inequality.
With a photograph on the big screens of the enclosure, in which a young man is seen grabbing a Chilean flag after the catastrophe, one of the best known images of misfortune, Godoy emphasized the ability to overcome adversity.
“This image that went around the world reflects the best of our country, its resilience, courage, unwavering strength to face and overcome one of the most difficult and painful moments in our history,” he said.
“We can always find ourselves as children of the same land that when it falls, it rises again,” said Cárcamo.
Of the 521 people who died, more than 100 were due to the deadly waves of up to 15 meters that ravaged the coast of the country and on which the National Emergency Office of the Ministry of Interior (Onemi) did not alert in time.