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Northwest natives in Santiago during quake

Post by Cole Cosgrove on Feb. 27, 2010 at 11:49 am with No Comments »
February 27, 2010 11:54 am
Sarah Kate Botkin in Santiago, Chile

We’ve heard from two people with Northwest ties who were in Santiago, Chile, during the 8.8-magnitude earthquake. A tsunami warning is in effect for Hawaii.

Derek Lactaoen, a graduate of Gig Harbor High School, is studying journalism in Santiago. He said he’ll send us a report of his experiences at the scene.

Sarah Kate Botkin, a 2000 graduate of Auburn Riverside High School and a 2004 graduate of Western Washington University, is teaching English in Santiago. I sent her an e-mail asking her to share her perspective.

Her father, Steve Botkin, who lives in the Redondo area of Des Moines, heard from his daughter this morning.

“I found out about the quake when I got up this morning around 8:30 and checked headlines on the Internet,” Botkin wrote in an e-mail today. “After a few minutes of panic, I saw I had an email from Sarah saying she was OK. There also was a phone message from her saying the same. She called about a half hour later and we talked. I was very relieved¬† to hear her voice and she was OK.”

Steve Botkin just returned Thursday from a trip to Chile to visit his daughter, who lives in an old three-story house in the central part of the city. She shares it with several other people, many of whom are young Americans teaching English.

“The house held up well in the quake, but she said if the quake had lasted any longer she was afraid it would come down,” wrote Botkin, a former member of The News Tribune copy desk. “Some plaster or part of one wall fell one one guy asleep in his bed, but he wasn’t hurt. … She said she and the others got under the door wells when the quake hit around 4:30 a.m. and then went outside where there were lots of people in the streets.”

If you or someone you know experienced the quake in Santiago or evacuated because of the tsunami warning, tell us about your experiences.

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