N. Texans With Family in Chile Must Simply Wait

By Ashanti Blaize
|  Saturday, Feb 27, 2010  |  Updated 9:56 PM CDT
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Dramatic Photos: Earthquake Aftermath in Chile

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According to the DFW International Community Alliance, the North Texas' Chilean community stands at about 800 people, many of whom are now on pins and needles awaiting any news from the South American country.

Since 4:30 Saturday morning, a short while after an 8.8 magnitude earthquake hit Chile, Horacio Marull's phone has been ringing off the hook.

"I know when somebody calls at that time it's no good news -- and this was my wife's sister," said Marull who is also the temporary head of the Chilean Consulate in Dallas.  "She called to tell us there had been a terrible earthquake in Chile."

Marull's home country is now in shambles after an earthquake measuring 8.8.

"I was not able to get in touch with my brother," he said.  "I'm still not able to get in touch with him."

As he waited for word and thumbed through old pictures of one of the areas hardest hit by the quake, he couldn't help but feel a sense of deja vu.

"I was in Chile in 1960 for this big earthquake which destroyed part of South Chile," he said.  "The worst part of it was the tsunami."

The quake, he said, had a magnitude of 9.8 and taught the people of Chile a valuable lesson.

"They are all the time in most cities in Chilean towns, they have drills particularly for tsunamis and this kind of thing," he said.  "So the population is very well prepared for this kind of thing."

While more than 200 have died in this latest quake, Marull knows it could have been much worse.  His hope is that his native land can pick up the pieces and move forward as they've done so many times before.

"The people will be able to overcome this."

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