LSA junior Jessica Carey-Webb, who is currently studying abroad in Santiago, Chile, said she felt like she was “in a personal snow globe being shaken greedily” as an 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck Chile on Feb. 27.

The earthquake left 12 University students studying abroad in Santiago dazed but thankful for their safety.

According to John Godfrey, assistant dean for International Education at the University, the dozen students participating in a University study abroad program at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago have been in contact with University officials to confirm their whereabouts and safety.

When the earthquake hit, many of the students were in cities outside of Santiago, traveling on weekend trips during their winter break before classes were set to resume on March 1.

The majority of the students were in Pucón, which was about 230 miles southeast of the quake’s epicenter. In an interview last Friday, Godfrey said he and other officials were able to contact all the students via cell phone calls and e-mail.

“The power went out in the capital, and so some people were out of touch longer than others,” Godfrey said. “We spent a number of hours on the weekend making sure we knew the students were safe.”

According to A.T. Miller, director of the Center for Global and Intercultural Study, the students’ emergency contacts — usually parents — were informed of the students’ whereabouts. Also, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile buildings have undergone safety inspections before they are scheduled to reopen today.

Miller said that while none of the students were injured or endangered during the quake, several were delayed in getting back to Santiago, some not returning to the city until six days later than expected.

Engineering sophomore Kevin Shallcross, who is currently studying in Santiago, said that transportation was the biggest hassle he dealt with as a result of the quake, which collapsed many of the country’s bridges and put the roads in poor condition.

Though serious aftershocks have since struck the country, Shallcross said the students are planning to remain in Chile.

“Chile’s infrastructure is built to withstand seismic activity, so restoration is probably faster here than anywhere else,” Shallcross said. “I feel safe where I am, so I plan to continue with my studies.”

Miller confirmed that Santiago is safe, and the international programs in the city are continuing as planned.

Miller added that the Center for Global and Intercultural Study is looking into ways students in Chile can become involved in relief efforts in cities that were most affected by the disaster.

According to The Associated Press, as of Friday, 452 people were reported dead as a result of the quake. Reconstruction is estimated to cost between $12 billion and $30 billion.

LSA junior Lyndsey Talon, a student studying in Chile, said she plans to join Chileans in their efforts to rebuild their country, and said she is impressed by the country’s unity that has sprung up in the aftermath of the quake.

“It reminds me of the United States after 9/11 — flags everywhere, messages on cars and buses to stay strong, everything from benefit concerts to benefit bar crawls,” Talon said. “It is obvious that the Chileans are dealing with disaster by becoming closer to each other.”

Though the earthquake delayed school for a week, Carry-Webb said students are returning to their normal routines.

“Everyone on my program is okay,” she said. “School is put off for a week but life goes on.”

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