Page last updated at 17:25 GMT, Monday, 1 March 2010

Earthquake in Chile: Your stories and pictures

Picture sent in by Oscar Campos

Rescue workers in Chile are still searching for survivors of the earthquake which struck on Saturday. More than seven hundred people are now thought to have died, and two million have lost their homes.

Despite the earthquake knocking out the telephone network, people have managed to get in contact with the BBC by using the the internet.

Email sent in by reader

Our family made it through relatively well. No injuries, just work needed on house. Thought I'd give a brief story on how a small grocer in a small town dealt with the disaster. He and his family worked through the day Saturday cleaning up the sloppy mixture of wine, cooking oil, food and alcohol from the store floor. On Sunday morning they opened early and the owner personally greeted each shopper as they came in.

Each shopper was able to purchase whatever they could carry in a small basket, no carts were provided. It was a simple and fair way to ration supplies. My informal survey showed that bread was most popular, followed closely by beer.

It was a beautiful moment in a hard day.
Zack Britton, Santiago

Jorge Nunez, 19, Santiago

When the earthquake struck, we could hardly get on our feet, we were sleeping.

Our house is fine but some neighbouring houses were damaged. The front wall of the house next door fell.

We went to the backyard as it was the safest place. Our house is on a little hill, so we didn't have to leave the area because of Tsunami risk.

According to our city council, 250 houses in San Antonio were destroyed and 200 bungalows belonging to recreation centre were swept by the sea. Fortunately, they were empty.

The damage is visible in the whole city. There was some looting going on during the night, but now things are under control. We feel safe.

The situation in the city is getting normal now, electricity and water services are getting restored slowly. Some water pipes are broken, but are under repair.

Photo by Oscar Herrera
Reports say that large parts of the historic centre of Curico, south of Santiago, has been destroyed. Picture taken by Oscar Herrera

See more of Oscar Herrera's photos on Flickr

Email sent in by reader

In the middle of the night we awoke to a crashing and banging noise that grew rapidly louder. The room then began to shake, mildly at first, but then quickly more and more for what seemed like minutes. Then the entire room was shaking like crazy, and the noise from the surrounding moving buildings was very loud. I thought our hostel would collapse on top of us, but was unable to do anything about it. I asked my boyfriend if it was an earthquake and clung on to him.

The metal light fixture that hung low from our ceiling on a large chain was now swinging so wildly like a pendulum that it almost hit the ceiling on both sides. We were both transfixed by the light and I clung to him, unable to move from the shock. The shaking reached finally it's crescendo, and stopped to nothing much quicker than it had built up.

I see on TV what is happening but the reality it's something that you can't start to imagine.
Jose Miguel Massri, Temuco

We came to our senses from the sound of people in our hostel running down the stairs, past our room, going outside. We quickly jumped from our bed, grabbed warm clothes, and ran outside to join the other 60 or so people that had congregated in the back garden. We spent the next few hours outside.

Immediately afterwards I remember feeling terrified that a worse quake was coming. We felt a small aftershock soon after, and then several more over the next 24 hours, including a big one that woke us at 8:30 the next day, but nothing that came close to the big one. When daylight came, I saw that there were only small cracks in the walls of our building, and I felt safer.
Siobhan Tierney

Email sent in by reader

This is horrible. Is like a nightmare. I live in Temuco, 300 km south of Concepcion, which is the most damaged city. Here is everything kind of normal, but just in this moment the lights have gone out. I see on TV what is happening in the Maule and Bio Bio regions but the reality is something that you can't start to imagine. I hope people there got food and water soon.
Jose Miguel Massri, Temuco

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