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Exploring Community Resilience

The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo earthquake

CLAUDIA GONZALEZ MUZZIO September 2010 Supervisor: John Twigg

This research dissertation is submitted for the MSc in Environment, Science and Society at University College London

Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake


In the past thirty years, community resilience has gained some prominence in Disaster Risk Reduction research. Creating disaster-resilient communities is becoming imperative, especially in urban areas, since cities are highly vulnerable to disasters. The emergency period, which follows the occurrence of an event, presents the opportunity to understand how communities react to and recover from the adverse conditions that disasters impose. This dissertation focuses on the role of social capital and the importance that place has in making post-disaster resilient communities in an urban context. The case study selected looks at the commune of San Pedro de la Paz in Chile during the emergency period following the earthquake of 27th February 2010. A mixed methods approach was employed to undertake the research, which included an online survey, interviews, and an extensive review of literature and online media. This research has generated a series of key findings regarding social capital and place as factors influencing community resilience. The particular post-disaster context in San Pedro de la Paz, the physical isolation and the spread of antisocial behaviour triggered the massive emergence of groups. Different groups emerged in different scales: neighbourhood, larger commune and online social networks; and emergent groups appeared regardless of the socio-economic conditions of neighbourhoods and the existence (or non-existence) of previous social ties. This social capital created after the disaster was much more important than previous social organisations for channelling the coping responses of the community. Groups of neighbours were territorially based according to size and the people involved in them. Land use as well as the geographical characteristics of the commune allowed the inhabitants to tackle the difficulties imposed. The main conclusions of this research highlight the importance particular situations can have in modifying the baseline resilience of a community. In the case studied these were looting and lack of access to the city of Concepcin. The conclusions also revealed the relationship that existed between the urban fabric, key resources existing

Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

in the affected region and adaptative community responses, including the creation of new social capital. Based on its results, this research argues that much more attention should be paid to post-disaster emergent social organisations when they help community resilience: their leadership on the planning and implementation of Disaster Risk Reduction strategies needs enhanced status. In addition, key resources of place should be identified and protected because they are crucial for the post-disaster resilience of the local communities.

Word count: 15,089 words.

Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

There is an extensive group of people who helped me meet this challenge. I must begin with Claudio, who motivated me to dream and believe the endeavour was possible and who gave me confidence in my ability to materialise it, even though we both knew it would be difficult to be separated from each other during the study year. Thanks to our son, Agustin, my companion in this adventure, who came to London as a stranger and not of his own choice, but is now happy to have made friends and learned English. Thanks to Nicols, my elder son, who has been always on my mind; as well as to my parents for their unconditional support. My sister Beatriz deserves a special thank you for teaching me statistics and for being my right hand in Chile. Much appreciation goes also to my parents-in-law who welcomed us in their house in San Pedro de la Paz to do the fieldwork. I cannot forget my friends, both old Chileans and new ESS colleagues, for their friendship and support, especially Ximena, because her help babysitting Agustn during the first months was crucial. I have to acknowledge all those who shared their experiences and lessons learned after the Biobo earthquake with me during the interviews in San Pedro de la Paz; and to those who answered the online survey, especially Juan Carlos, Carolina, Rodrigo, Andrs, Luciano, Cecilia, Boris, Juan Marcos, Brede and Juan Pablo. In addition, I must say how very thankful I am to CONICYT and its scholarship Becas Chile for giving me the opportunity to come to University College London to do the MSc, and also to Ben Page at the UCL Geography Department for his support from the first day I came to the programme, and especially during difficult times. Finally, I thank John Twigg, who with infinite patience welcomed all my questions and has always shown a great willingness to support me throughout the dissertation process. He has encouraged me through his lectures and experience to get involved in the world of Disaster Risk Reduction beyond the limits of this particular academic research.

Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake


DECLARATION ................................................................................................................... 2 ABSTRACT ......................................................................................................................... 3 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS..................................................................................................... 5 LIST OF CONTENTS ............................................................................................................ 6 LIST OF FIGURES, GRAPHS, MAPS, PHOTOGRAPHS AND TABLES .................................... 9 INTRODUCTION .............................................................................................................. 12 Community resilience in the context of Disaster Risk Reduction .............................. 12 Research aims and questions ..................................................................................... 13 SAN PEDRO DE LA PAZ AFTER THE BIOBO EARTHQUAKE, A CASE STUDY .................... 15 Earthquakes as part of the Chileans life .................................................................... 16 Consequences of the Biobo earthquake ................................................................... 18 San Pedro de la Paz and its regional context ............................................................. 19 Chronology of the emergency period ........................................................................ 24 LITERATURE REVIEW....................................................................................................... 26 Community resilience ................................................................................................. 26 Social capital in disasters ............................................................................................ 29 The role of place in making disaster-resilient communities ...................................... 32 Existing research about social capital and place in the post-disaster emergency period.......................................................................................................................... 34 Community response after the Chilean earthquake of 27th February 2010 .............. 36 Ongoing research........................................................................................................ 37 METHODOLOGY .............................................................................................................. 38 Approach .................................................................................................................... 38 Research methods description ................................................................................... 38

Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

Online survey .......................................................................................................... 39 Interviews ............................................................................................................... 41 Systematic revision of social networks and media reports .................................... 43 Data collection ............................................................................................................ 46 Data analysis ............................................................................................................... 46 Research limitations ................................................................................................... 47 RESULTS .......................................................................................................................... 48 The respondents profile and the problems they faced after the earthquake .......... 48 Social capital in San Pedro de la Paz........................................................................... 51 Community organisation ........................................................................................ 52 Other groups or organisations after the earthquake ............................................. 56 Peoples participation in formal groups before the earthquake ........................... 60 Links to other institutions and organisations ......................................................... 62 Notions about place ................................................................................................... 64 Geographical characteristics of San Pedro were influential on the effects of the earthquake. ............................................................................................................ 64 Key resources in San Pedro .................................................................................... 65 Functional and spatial issues about place .............................................................. 67 Some social issues that could influence peoples responses ................................. 71 HOW SOCIAL CAPITAL AND PLACE INFLUENCE COMMUNITY RESILIENCE .................... 74 Looting as an igniter of community responses .......................................................... 74 Social capital, place and community resilience after the disaster ............................. 76 Baseline versus adaptative resilience ..................................................................... 77 Emergent groups, emergent behaviour and the role of existing organisations .... 80 Robustness, redundancy, resourcefulness and rapidity of social capital and place ................................................................................................................................ 81

Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

CONCLUSION .................................................................................................................. 85 Summary of findings and conclusions ........................................................................ 85 Research limitations and recommendations for further research............................. 86 REFERENCES.................................................................................................................... 88 INITIAL PROPOSAL .......................................................................................................... 97 AUTO CRITIQUE ......................................................................................................... 103 APPENDIX 1: IMAGES OF SAN PEDRO DE LA PAZ ......................................................... 105 APPENDIX 2: SELECTED DEFINITIONS FOR COMMUNITY RESILIENCE .......................... 106 APPENDIX 3: QUESTIONNAIRE FOR ONLINE SURVEY ................................................... 108 APPENDIX 4: BASE QUESTIONNAIRES FOR INTERVIEWS .............................................. 124 APPENDIX 5: TRANSCRIPTION EXTRACT ....................................................................... 131 Translated transcription extract ............................................................................... 131 Original interview transcription extract, in Spanish ................................................. 134

Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake


FIGURES Figure 1: Areas highly exposed to one of more hazards in the world, by hazard type .. 17 Figure 2: Metropolitan Area of Concepcin ................................................................... 20 Figure 3: Components of social capital and links between different adaptative capacities ........................................................................................................................ 30 Figure 4: DRC Typology of organisational response to disasters ................................... 31 Figure 5: Emergent behaviour ........................................................................................ 31 Figure 6: Hazards of Place Model of Vulnerability ......................................................... 33 Figure 7: Disaster Resilience of Place (DROP) Model ..................................................... 34 Figure 8: Main groups and institutions responding during the emergency period in San Pedro de la Paz and links between them ....................................................................... 63 Figure 9: Location of water sources used by people from San pedro de la Paz ............ 66 Figure 10: Examples or urbanisation typologies in relation to the extent of community organisation .................................................................................................................... 70 Figure 11: Some images taken by local residents and published online to expose looters ........................................................................................................................................ 76 Figure 12: DROP Model first phase: From inherent resilience to disaster impact in San Pedro de la Paz ............................................................................................................... 79

Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

GRAPHS Graph 1: Problems faced by respondents during the first 48 hours, first week and first month after the earthquake ........................................................................................... 50 Graph 2: Sanpedrinos response to the earthquake, the tsunami and their consequences ................................................................................................................. 51 Graph 3: People with whom respondents collaborated after the earthquake ............. 52 Graph 4: Problems faced by the community in a collaborative manner ....................... 54 MAPS Map 1: Land use in San Pedro de la Paz. ........................................................................ 68 Map 2: Low, mid and high income neighbourhoods in San Pedro de la Paz ................. 72 PHOTOGRAPHS Photograph 1: Illustrations of damage in the Biobo Region. ........................................ 21 Photograph 2: Aerial view of San Pedro de la Paz ......................................................... 23 Photograph 3: Some urbanisation typologies ................................................................ 23 TABLES Table 1: Top 10 disasters in Chile from 1900 to 2010 .................................................... 18 Table 2: Damage caused by the Biobo earthquake ....................................................... 19 Table 3: Timeline of the emergency period of the 27th February Earthquake............... 24 Table 4: MCEERs properties of a resilient community .................................................. 29 Table 5: Main studies about social capital during the emergency period of disasters .. 35 Table 6: contents of survey ............................................................................................ 40 Table 7: List of interviewees ........................................................................................... 42


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

Table 8: Main Facebook Pages and Groups used to seek and/or post information about San Pedro de la Paz after the earthquake ...................................................................... 44 Table 9: Age range of respondents who completed the survey .................................... 48 Table 10: respondents main job or activity ................................................................... 49 Table 11: Role of respondents in groups of neighbours organised after the earthquake ........................................................................................................................................ 53 Table 12: Reasons people needed to work collaboratively after the earthquake, in order of importance ....................................................................................................... 54 Table 13: Importance assigned by respondents to social organisations, in terms of their usefulness during the emergency period. ...................................................................... 55 Table 14: Peoples participation in volunteering activities related to the earthquake during the emergency period ......................................................................................... 57 Table 15: Participation of respondents in formal groups before the earthquake ......... 61 Table 16: Before the earthquake, to what extent did you know San Pedro de la Paz? . 64


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake


Community resilience in the context of Disaster Risk Reduction

Is it widely recognised nowadays that the occurrence of disasters is increasing as is also the severity of their social and economic consequences. This is despite the continuous effort made by governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to mitigate effects and be prepared at all levels. The population at risk has increased not only because the worlds population has grown but because people live, densely concentrated, in cities. As more than half of the global population lives in cities, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) has become more relevant for urban areas. However, there is still a bias toward rural research rather than urban, and this also applies to studies about different socio-economic groups, where poor and rural communities are the most studied. In the urban context, mega-cities have more or less monopolised research efforts (Pelling 2003). The focus of disaster management has also been changing during the last thirty years. The importance of DRR in urban areas has increased, and a broad range of stakeholders take part in the DRR process. In addition, the research focus has shifted from the study of natural hazards and the implementation of mitigation strategies to the study of peoples vulnerability and, based on this, to the way in which vulnerability can be reduced. More recently, a new component has been introduced in DRR. This seeks a more integrative approach, and aims to understand and enhance the capacities of local populations to react to and recover from disasters. In other words, its aim is to comprehend and foster community resilience. Cutter et al (2008a) state that much of the literature on resilience from the perspective of hazards and disasters falls within the domain of hazard mitigation planning (Cutter et al 2008a:4) in such a way that planning for resilience has become a major issue in DRR strategies and implementation. However, little has been said about how to employ and enhance community resilience during emergency and response periods so as to minimise the impacts of disasters and to accelerate social and economic recovery processes. To manage this, it is crucial to know what actually makes


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

a disaster-resilient community. Understanding how people use their assets in coping with the impacts of disasters will help researchers and decision-makers develop more efficient DRR strategies and should also be useful in allocating human and economic resources during the disaster emergency periods in a more effective and efficient manner. Much of what is known about community resilience comes from empirical research carried out during the disaster response period either by means of direct observation in the field or by employing data acquired from respondent institutions or members of the public (Tierney 2009). Thus, for both community members and researchers, the response phase in the disaster cycle presents an opportunity for continuous learning on how to cope with and recover from the adverse conditions disasters impose. In addition, researchers have recently highlighted the impact that ICTs1, and online social networks in particular, are beginning to have during a disasters aftermath, both for requesting and for providing critical information for fostering community resilience (see, for example, Sutton 2010, Sutton et al 2008). These studies suggest that the emergent uses of contemporary communication media are precursors of changes in disaster response at broader levels (Sutton et al 2008). However, the use of online social networks when a disaster occurs requires more research efforts. There is little information available about the way people organise themselves online and it is also unclear if these networks constitute emergent groups or are just indicators of emergent behaviour.

Research aims and questions

By employing the earthquake that occurred in Chile on 27th February 2010 as a case study, this research aims to look at the factors that foster or constrain disaster resilience at community level in urban areas. The research focuses on the role of the social capital which communities have or create and the importance of the place where the victims live for coping with the consequences of the disaster during the emergency period. To proceed, two main objectives have been defined:

Information and Communication Technologies


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

1. To assess how important social capital is in making communities resilient and to identify the existing structures as well as the social capital spontaneously created to tackle the impacts of the disaster. 2. To assess how important the place where communities live is in building their resilience to disasters, and also to understand the relationship between that place and the actions taken by the community during the disasters aftermath. Following the above mentioned objectives, a series of research questions was identified in relation to social capital and place at community level: How important is social capital in making communities resilient to disasters? What were the existing networks and organisations within the community? Did people use them when the disaster occurred? How did people organise themselves, and why did they do so (or not do so)? What kinds of organisations or networks appeared after the disaster that were not there before? How were community organisations related to place? What is the importance of place as a factor that contributes to making communities resilient to disasters? How important for the disaster-resilient community was their previous knowledge of, and their attachment to the surrounding environment? What were the key resources present in those places that were useful for coping with the aftermath of the disaster?


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake


This chapter clarifies the context of this research in both spatial and temporal terms. Community resilience is recognised as important in the DRR context, and the response period can provide valuable information about communities adaptative capacities for coping with disasters and recovering from them. Recent events such as the earthquakes that occurred in Haiti and Chile in 2010 make it possible to investigate community resilience and other issues related to disaster risk reduction. One reason for choosing Chile as a case study here is the authors familiarity with the country2, a circumstance that facilitates access to people and places. However, that is not the only reason. Firstly, much more attention has been paid to the consequences of the disaster in Haiti because the Haitians vulnerability in both socio-economic and political contexts is widely recognised. Many countries and international agencies have mobilised resources to Haiti to help affected populations in their recovery 3. For that reason, it is probable that there will be far more research on Haiti than on Chile. Secondly, although Chile has been internationally acknowledged for its efficient response to the Biobo earthquake and tsunami, considering the magnitude of the event (Beittel 2010), a series of particularities marked the disasters aftermath there. People relied heavily on institutions and emergency systems in such a way that failure or delay in the authorities reactions hindered the effectiveness of community responses, even causing loss of lives in towns affected by the tsunami. In addition, looting was a serious problem, causing (for the first time since the return of democracy) the military to be put on the streets to re-establish public order in the most affected regions. Furthermore, some places in densely populated areas were isolated for several days because of the collapse of the transport infrastructure and communications; these communities were on their own during the first days. A place in which some of these conditions converged was the commune of San Pedro de la

The author is Chilean, with permanent residence in Santiago, the capital, but has family ties to the Biobo region. 3 Chile also did before the Biobo earthquake occurred.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

Paz, in the Metropolitan Area of Concepcin. This is the place which is investigated in this case study.

Earthquakes as part of the Chileans life

Nobody in Chile can feel immune to the possibility of experiencing an earthquake. During the last 100 years more than 15 earthquakes of M=7.5 or higher have occurred in Chile (Barrientos et al 2004). This is because the country is located along the subduction zone of the Nazca Plate beneath the continental South American Plate. Moreover, the region affected by the 2010 earthquake constitutes one of two seismic gaps where an event of M=8 or higher was expected to occur4 (Madariaga 1998, Ruegg et al 2009). According to The World Bank (2005) Chile is one of the most hazardprone regions in the world5, being exposed to earthquakes, volcanoes, floods and droughts. The central area of the country ranks seventh in the world for exposure to three or more hazards, with more than 50 percent of the population potentially affected (see Figure 1).

4 5

The other is located between Arica and Antofagasta in the northern regions. The report was done taking into account hazard exposure and vulnerability regarding population and GDP, with the aim of measuring risks of mortality and economic loss related to disaster occurrence. The hazards considered were floods, drought, cyclones, earthquakes and volcanoes.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake


Source: The World Bank 2005:3


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

According to EM-DAT (2010), the 27th February earthquake is by far the most damaging since 1900 in terms both of economic costs and of affected population. As Table 1 shows, the most severe disasters in Chile are earthquakes, which normally affect highly populated areas. Although Chile has learned from past experiences and buildings are much more resistant now, thus minimising human losses, it is clearly not enough. In a country where 85% of the population lives in cities (INE 2002) and where cities are located in areas exposed to natural hazards, it is imperative to build more resilient cities.
Sorted by total number of people killed Disaster Earthquake Earthquake Earthquake Earthquake Flood Earthquake Earthquake Earthquake Earthquake Earthquake Date N Killed Sorted by total population affected Disaster Date Total Affected Sorted costs of economic damage Disaster Date 27-02-10 03-03-85 24-01-39 21-05-60 06-05-53 2-01-99 08-07-71 03-63 01-91 24-05-02 Damage (000 US$) 30,000,000 1,500,000 920 550 500 280 236,4 235 200 200

24-01-1939 30,000 Earthquake 16-08-1906 20,000 Earthquake 21-05-60 60,000 Earthquake 1922 05-65 1960 27-02-10 28-03-65 03-63 1928 1,000 Earthquake 600 Flood 570 Storm 562 Flood 400 Flood 280 Drought 220 Flood

27-02-10 2,671,556 Earthquake 08-07-71 2,348,973 Earthquake 21-05-60 2,003,000 Earthquake 03-03-85 1,482,275 Earthquake 07-65 07-84 24-05-02 12-06-00 08-68 17-jul-87 375 Earthquake 242,345 Wildfire 221,842 Earthquake 139,667 Earthquake 120 Drought 116 Flood

Source: EM-DAT (2010)

Consequences of the Biobo earthquake

The Biobo earthquake occurred on 27th February 2010 at 6:34 UTC (3:34 local time) and had a magnitude of 8.8 (USGS 2010), generating a tsunami that covered the Pacific region, having no major consequences outside Chiles coasts. The earthquake was felt by around 80% of the Chilean population and approximately 17% were directly affected. Some cities and towns were completely destroyed and critical infrastructure was also damaged, including roads, railways, hospitals and schools (see Table 2).


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake


Kind of damage / resource affected People Numbers 521 confirmed dead and 56 missing 2,500,000 people affected (approximately) Affected housing 81,444 homes destroyed 108,914 severely damaged 179,693 with minor damage 370,051 dwellings affected in total. Areas affected 239 communes affected 5 cities with over 100,000 inhabitants 45 cities with over 5,000 inhabitants More than 900 towns at the coast and inland. 6 regions declared as catastrophe zones. Infrastructure damages 71% of the public hospitals network damaged. 3,049 educational buildings damaged; 1,250,000 pupils affected. 221 damaged or destroyed bridges. From 3 bridges crossing the river Biobo between Concepcin and San Pedro de la Paz, one collapsed, one was severely damaged and only one is partially in operation. Economic costs USD $30,000 total economic loss = 17% Chiles GDP USD $1,253 public works reconstruction costs Source: Based on data from the Ministry of Housing and Urbanism (2010), Ministry of the Interior (2010), Ministry of Education (2010), and Ministry of Public Works (2010), available at and (last accessed 10 August 2010)

San Pedro de la Paz and its regional context

The Biobo region is one of the most populated in Chile, with 2,034,557 as the estimated population for June 2009. 83.55% of the regional population lives in urban areas. Around 700,000 people reside in the Metropolitan Area of Concepcin, which comprises the cities of Concepcin, Talcahuano, Chiguayante, Penco and San Pedro de la Paz (see Figure 2). Fisheries and forestry, followed by agriculture, manufacturing industries and tertiary sector activities, are the most important economic activities there (CEPAL 2010:40, Duran 2006).


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake


Pacific Ocean



Hualpn Concepcin

River Biobo

San Pedro de la Paz


Source: The author. Image from Google Earth (2010)


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

The Biobo region was one of the most disturbed by the earthquake. The collapsed building Alto Ro became one of the symbols of the catastrophe at national level (see Photograph 1). In addition, coastal towns such as Dichato almost disappeared after the tsunami, which also destroyed one of the major Chilean ports, Talcahuano, and the main naval shipyard (CEPAL 2010). Important industries were damaged, including the biggest Chilean iron-and-steel company and some forestry industries. Moreover, looting was a significant problem in that region, affecting supermarkets, stores and service stations, and also some uninhabited houses (La Tercera, 24/3/2010)6.
a. Alto Ro, building located in Concepcin b. Downtown in Talcahuano


Puente Viejo, over river Biobo

d. Dichato

Source of photographs: a. Claudio Rozas, b. Diario El Sur, c. Claudio Rozas, d. EMOL (El Mercurio Online)

A distinction must be made between looting and appropriation during disaster times. The latter refers to people in need who take food and other basics from stores or supermarkets (see for example, Tierney 2009, Quarantelli 2007). Although in this case both occurred, most of the antisocial behaviour was observed during the first days in places were no severe needs existed at that moment, and thefts ranged from food and clothes to TV sets, computers, furniture, refrigerators, etc.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

Concepcin has a long history of earthquakes. It has been rebuilt several times, and, after the earthquake and tsunami of 1751, it was relocated from Penco, its original site, to its present-day location (Campos 1979). In January 2005, two months after the Sumatra earthquake and tsunami, a false tsunami, triggered by a rumour, caused the dispersal of more than 15,000 people who spontaneously evacuated to the hills in the Metropolitan Area of Concepcin (La Nacin 2005). After the 1960 disaster, planned urbanisation commenced systematically on the other side of the River Biobo7. Villa San Pedro, the first planned urbanisation project there, was built to reduce the housing deficit caused by the Valdivia earthquake (Franck and Prez 2009). After that, a continuous urbanisation process has taken place in San Pedro de la Paz (see Photograph 2), which has included the allocation of people from the slums in Concepcin as well as gated communities8 and other neighbourhoods inhabited by people of high socio-economic strata (see Photograph 3). The area was declared a commune9 in 1995. Nowadays, it has a population of 93,421 people, as estimated in 2009 (SUBDERE 2010). See Appendix 1 for additional photographs of San Pedro de la Paz.

The River Biobo has historically been seen as a frontier, since the Arauco War between Spanish conquistadors and the Mapuches, the native inhabitants of that area. The river is the widest in Chile and the only bridge that remains in operation is 2 km long. 8 A gate community is kind of urbanisation (an entire neighbourhood) which has only one access, usually controlled by a gate and/or private guards. The Spanish name is "condominio". 9 A commune is the local-level administrative division in Chile.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake


Source: Juan Manrquez, available at [last accessed 7 September 2010]


a. Villa San Pedro b. Recently urbanised area

Source: a. Claudia Gonzlez, b. Claudio Rozas


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

Chronology of the emergency period

The last part of this chapter provides a temporal context for the research, which covers the emergency period of the Biobo earthquake. Table 3 summarises the main facts at national level and also presents specific data about the situation in the Biobo region and San Pedro de la Paz during the first month after the event.
Date 27-02 Event / action At 3:34 local time, an earthquake of M=8.8 occurred near the coast of Cobquecura. Communications (landlines and mobile phones) collapsed. However, intermittent signals allowed some people to use internet 3G, SMS and mobile calls after a while. Potable water and electricity services were not in operation in affected areas. Because of the lack of inter-institutional coordination and misinterpretation of the information, a tsunami warning was discarded by national authorities, despite the PTWC issued a warning for the entire Pacific Region. 28-02 The government declared a State of Catastrophe in Maule and Biobo regions, sending 11,800 soldiers to those regions. Curfew was in effect between 9PM and 6AM. More than 120 aftershocks of M=5 or higher had occurred. 01-03 The government decided to accept international aid. Because of looting, the curfew was extended up to 16 hours in Concepcins Metropolitan Area. The military arrived in San Pedro de la Paz; inhabitants received them by clapping their hands. 03-03 90% of the electricity service was restored in San Pedro de la Paz, according to CGE
11 10

San Pedro de la Paz and other cities were evacuated following a tsunami warning issued by the authorities due to an aftershock. All this did was alarm people. 07-03 90% landline and mobile phones were working. In Biobo region, 51% of mobile phones and 81% landlines had been restored. The curfew was reduced by 3 hours to 13 hours/day. 95% of domestic flights and 80% of international flights were operating. 30 countries had sent humanitarian aid. 52 service stations were functioning in the Biobo region. 09-03 11-03 29% of the urban population in the Biobo region still lacked potable water. President Piera was inaugurated in a ceremony held at the National Congress. For the first time in 20 years, there was a centre-right government in Chile. At least 5 large aftershocks occurred, one of them M=6.9 during the ceremony.
10 11

Pacific Tsunami Warning Center from the NOAAs National Weather Service, located in Hawaii. Compaa General de Electricidad, provider of electricity in San Pedro de la Paz for domestic users.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake 19-03 Piera passed the first aid package: USD $111 million for repairing schools, for helping fishermen repair their boats and for building emergency housing. 26-03 President Piera presented a reconstruction plan for the Biobo region in Concepcin. The Curfew finished in the Province of Concepcin, including San Pedro de la Paz. 29-03 80% of banks were operating in the Biobo region. The government announced that 20,000 mediaguas would be built. A similar amount would

be built by Un Techo para Chile, a Chilean NGO which aims to improve quality of life in the slums. 75% of students in the Biobo region were still unable to attend school. 31-03 The government considered that the emergency period had come to an end, and the State of Catastrophe expired that day. More than 400 aftershocks had occurred by the end of March. Source: The author, using information published in the newspapers La Tercera, El Mercurio and Diario El Sur, Ministry of the Interior (2010), and UN-OCHA (2010, 2010a, 2010b)


The term refers to an emergency housing unit consisting of a single wooden layer construction of 18 square metres.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake


The first part of this chapter briefly discusses the concepts of resilience, community and community resilience, and how they are understood in this research. Next there is an examination of two different approaches to social capital in the disaster context: these will guide the discussion of research findings. After that, the chapter presents a succinct review of literature about social capital in relation to community resilience in the aftermath of disasters. Although the literature about how place is related to community resilience after disasters is almost non-existent, some references to place are identified, and existing publications related to the Biobo earthquake are discussed. Finally, this chapter summarises ongoing research, mostly related to the use of online social networks in post-disaster response.

Community resilience
The concept of resilience has been widely used in research during the last few decades in many different fields, including, amongst others, ecology, psychology, public health, engineering and urban planning. As a consequence, definitions of resilience have been developed linked to each field of study. Holling (1973) proposed a first definition of this concept in an ecological context. Since then, many other scholars have followed (see for example, Mileti 1999, Folke et al 2002, Ganor and Ben-Lavy 2003, and Norris et al 2008), as well as organisations (ISDR UN, Resilience Alliance, IPCC and IFRC, cited in IRG-Tetra Tech Joint Venture 2006). Most definitions refer in some way to the capacity of a resilient entity to manage, maintain and/or recover its structures and functions after a disturbance. Like resilience, the term community has diverse definitions. Although researchers acknowledge that a community does not always have clear geographical boundaries, they agree on a community being a system where built, natural, social and economic environments influence one another (Norris et al 2008:128). In addition, the existing literature recognises that communities are dynamic and that overlapping is often observed amongst them, in both geographical terms and in relation to their members,


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

since people may belong to more than one single community (Twigg 2007). Cutter and her colleagues (2008) developed a model of community resilience which aimed to capture the spatial interactions amongst the social system, built environment and natural processes (Cutter et al 2008:599). In this context, a definition of community must establish specific geographical limits in order to make the model operative. They defined communities as the totality of social system interactions within a defined geographic space (Cutter et al 2008:599). Spatial dimension is important when defining the geographical context for research, although relationships between community members may go beyond its boundaries. During the past 15 years, community resilience in the disaster context has been defined by several scholars. A definition that summarises most concepts included in the literature has been elaborated by Cutter et al (2008a), as follows:
...ability of a human system to respond and recover. It includes those inherent conditions that allow the system to absorb impacts and cope with the event, as well as post-event adaptive processes that facilitate the ability of the system to reorganise, change, and learn in response to the event (Cutter et al 2008a:2).

However, there is no consensus on whether community resilience is applicable only to people or can also involve physical systems, and the answer depends on the specific field of research. Ganor and Ben-Lavy 2003 focussed primarily on social community without specific reference to the built and natural environment to which it is related. Conversely, scholars researching Socio-Ecological Systems (SES) refer to human communities and ecosystems as systems interacting and influencing one another (see for example Adger 2000, Folke et al 2005, Adger et al 2005, Berkes 2007). However, most SES research is built primarily on the ecological framework of resilience. A more integrated approach is proposed by Bruneau et al (2003) who state that both physical and social systems can be assessed according to a unique set of properties. Like Bruneau and his colleagues, Cutter et al (2008) and Godschalk (2003) take into account social components as well as physical and natural resources as influencing community


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

resilience. The latter refers specifically to urban resilient cities as a sustainable network of physical systems and human communities. (Godschalk 2003:137)13. Resilience is considered here as a process rather than an outcome, being defined in terms of continual learning and taking responsibility for making better decisions in order to improve the capacity to handle hazards (Cutter et al 2008:600). According to Manyena (2006), when analysing disaster resilience as a process the role of people in disasters should be emphasised. Moreover, a resilient entity or system does not bounce back to a static stability, since ecosystems as well as cities are always changing and evolving. In addition, the existing literature promotes actions to foster resilience in the period prior to disaster occurrence. Assessing baseline resilience or inherent resilience (Rose 2004) can be useful in preparing communities to handle future events. However, it is acknowledged that baseline resilience is not necessarily an indicator of the level of resilience a community will have during the response period of a disaster, since the resilience required to respond to and recover from an event must vary according to the severity of the disaster (Tierney 2009). Components or properties of a disaster-resilient community are also a contested issue. However, one of the most cited frameworks, developed by MCEER14 researchers, takes into account four properties of resilient entities, whether they are organisations or communities, each one associated with four dimensions, technical, organisational, social and economic (Bruneau et al 2003). The properties of both physical and social systems are presented in Table 4.


For additional information about selected definitions and approaches to community resilience, see Appendix 2. 14 Multidisciplinary Center of Earthquake Engineering Research.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake


Property Robustness Description The ability of elements, systems, and other units of analysis to withstand stresses and demands without suffering damage, degradation or loss of function Redundancy The extent to which elements, systems, or other units of analysis exist that meet functional requirements in the event of disruption, degradation, or loss of functionality of primary systems Resourcefulness The capacity to identify problems, establish priorities, and mobilise resources to avoid or cope with damage or disruption; the ability to apply human and material resources to meet priorities and achieve goals Rapidity The capacity to meet priorities and achieve goals in a timely manner

Source: Tierney 2003:2

Social capital in disasters

Communities, their organisations and their networks, extending beyond their physical limits, constitute what is called social capital. This resource makes it possible to reduce social vulnerability and therefore increase resilience. Like the other concepts mentioned, social capital has many definitions, since it has been transferred from one discipline to another (Norris et al 2008). Dynes (2002) acknowledges the importance of social capital importance since it is the only form of capital that can be enhanced during a disaster response period. New social capital can emerge from existing social structures, or be derived from responses to problems that become explicit when a disaster happens. From a series of frameworks developed to study social capital during disasters, two will now be briefly discussed. Norris et al (2008) approach social capital as one of the adaptative capacities that determine resilience in their model (see Figure 3). Even though the authors do not define social capital, discussing definitions provided by other researchers, their framework focuses on three of its components: (i) network structures and linkages, which refer to inter- and intra-organisational connectedness; (ii) social support, which can be perceived or received and comprises social interactions for assistance and (iii) community bonds, roots and commitments which involve attitudes with respect to peoples neighbourhoods and communities, where a


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

sense of community and an attachment to place can both count for a great deal in a case of disaster although, in some circumstances, place attachments could impair rather than facilitate resilience (Norris et al 2008:139), for example, impeding evacuation processes.

Information and communication

Economic Development

Community competence

Social Capital

Received (enacted) social support

Sense of community

Perceived (expected) social support

Attachment to place

Social embeddedness (informal ties)

Organisational linkages and cooperation

Citizen participation, leadership and roles (formal ties)

Modified from Norris et al (2008)

Researchers from the Disaster Research Center (DRC) have developed a framework based on the organisational characteristics exhibited by groups and institutions during disasters (see for example, Dynes 2002, Dynes 2005, Quarantelli 1994). For the purpose of describing organisational response to disasters, DRC typology classifies organisations according to their structure and the tasks they assume during the emergency or response period, as follows (see Figure 4): Type I are Established organisations which maintain their pre-disaster structure and tasks (e.g. police departments); Type II are Expanding organisations which keep their pre-existing


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

authority relations and carry out the tasks they normally do, but expand in size, including people who have previous knowledge of those tasks (e.g. fire departments); Type III are Extending organisations, which though pre-existing in some form get involved in post-disaster activities and develop new tasks. Finally, Type IV are Emergent organisations, those which only appear during or after disasters and perform disaster-related tasks with a generally informal structure.
STRUCTURES Old Old TASKS New Type I Established Type III Extending Source: Dynes 2002 New Type II Expanding Type IV Emergent

Since the authors recognise some limitations the DRC typology has in covering all the possibilities of organisational response to disasters, Quarantelli (1994) has expanded it, taking into account the emergent response or behaviour of organisations, as it is shown in Figure 5. Emergent groups and behaviour are important to consider as they appear inevitably, due to the need for immediate action after a disaster has occurred (Stallings and Quarantelli 1985, Quarantelli 1994), and also because their appearance reflects communities flexibility and adaptability. The creation of this particular social capital could also be used as an indicator of the severity of disasters (Tierney 2003).
STRUCTURES Old Old Quasi-emergent behaviour Task Emergence behaviour Source: Quarantelli 1994. New Structural Emergence behaviour Group Emergence




Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

The role of place in making disaster-resilient communities

The high level of dependence that cities have becomes evident during crises (Princova 2009:51). People living in cities have a high level of reliance on critical infrastructures, which include, amongst others, transport and telecommunication systems, information systems, energy systems, and food and water supply. Thus, the same factors that allow cities to accommodate high population densities the city fabric and its infrastructure put them at risk (Godschalk 2003, Preselj 2009, Haigh and Amaratunga 2010). In other words, cities are inherently vulnerable. However, that is by no means equivalent to saying that cities are not resilient. Discussion on the role of place in disaster-resilience at community level is already taking place, but little has been written about the subject. Manyena (2006) has pointed out how some researchers consider that only people can be resilient while physical infrastructures have to be resistant. However, although humans should be at the centre of any resilience programme, they do not live in a vacuum but instead are part of systems than impact on losses and the localitys ability to deal with them (Manyena 2006:444, based on Miletis email). OKeefe, in Manyena (2006:444), states that a community is less or more resilient depending on its social capital and its economy, but also on how unsafe its physical infrastructure is. The latter viewpoint is consistent with the most frequent approach to place in disaster context, which highlights its influence on peoples vulnerability. Even though several of the frameworks developed to facilitate vulnerability and capacity assessment take into account physical and environmental components of place, most of them do not consider place as a factor in resilience but rather as one that influences peoples vulnerability (see for example Davis et al 2004). A different perspective has been proposed by Buckle et al (2001), who define resilience as the opposite of vulnerability. Their framework encompasses geographical attributes (such as topography), infrastructure status (coverage, accessibility and reliability) and environmental status as elements that define vulnerability and resilience. Conversely, Cutter et al (2003) put vulnerability of place at the centre of their Hazards of Place model of vulnerability (see Figure 6), where the geographic context and the social fabric together determine a places vulnerability (Cutter et al 2003:257).

Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake


Source: Cutter et al 2003:244

More recently, Cutter and her colleagues have proposed a disaster resilience of place model (DROP) which aims to relate vulnerability and resilience (see Figure 7). The model is supposed to be applicable on differing geographic scales, covering both small communities and larger regions. Resilience is seen as a process that involves social systems, built environment and natural systems simultaneously, so social capital and place depend on each other. The model starts measuring inherent resilience according to six dimensions: ecological, social, economic, institutional, infrastructure and community competence15. Actions taken after the impact of hazards constitute the adaptative resilience, which along with the baseline level of resilience would determine the degree of recovery. As far as is known to the present researcher, the model remains untested.


Cutter et al 2008a consider four dimensions for measuring resilience, which can be seen in Appendix



Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake


Source: Cutter et al 2008:602

Researchers in psychology have provided the concept of attachment to place as a complementary viewpoint on places importance in community resilience. Livingstone et al (2008) analysed factors that contribute or constrain peoples attachment to place in different neighbourhoods in England. According to their study, older people and those with longer residence in an area tend to have higher levels of attachment. (Livingstone et al 2008:43). The authors also suggest that strong networks and cohesion within neighbourhoods enhance individuals coping capacity (Livingstone et al 2008:82).

Existing research about social capital and place in the post-disaster emergency period
Extensive research has been done on community and institutional responses during a disasters aftermath (Tierney 2009). However, the introduction of the concept of resilience in this specific field is recent. Much more profuse is the literature on community resilience after the World Trade Center disaster of 2001 and after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in 2005 than for these events. In a recent report, Tierney (2009) provides a comprehensive summary of resilience studies during pre- and post-disaster periods, focusing on the US context. She highlights that convergence and emergence are important sources of resilience as the adaptative capacities of the community begin to increase. Communities are widely

Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

recognised to be the first to respond, especially when preparedness measures fail or when authorities delay in their disaster-response. Elements of resilience at this level are flexibility, adaptability, and improvisation as well as coordination and networking elements which are also crucial at the institutional level (Tierney 2009). Table 5 summarises the main studies relating social capital and resilience after disasters.
Social capital aspect Source Themes covered

Authorities and civil zerdem and Jacoby (2006) The emergence of new civil organisations and society role spontaneous community responses, as well as the role of civil society in general, after earthquakes that took place in Japan, Turkey and India. Institutional community response disasters and Comfort (1999). (public) Tierney (2003) Other studies show the management of

convergence and emergence: decentralisation,

after Wachtendorf and Kendra relationships between existing and emergent 2004, Wachtendorf 2004 Tierney and Trainor 2004 groups, and improvisation and creativity, all of them indicators of resilience. The importance of network organisational forms, focusing on emergent multi-organisational

networks (EMONS) after the WTC disaster in 2001. Emergent behaviour Quarantelli 1994 and groups Classification of emergent behaviour in existing organisations and emergent groups in disasters aftermath. Quarantelli hypothesises that emergent behaviour in pre-existing groups is more frequent than the emergence of totally new groups. Shklovski, Palen and Sutton The role of online social networks in seeking and 2008 Historical roots of Bankoff (2007) providing information after disasters. A long history of disasters as well as the sociopolitical context throughout, form the roots of community resilience in the Philipines.

community resilience

Mentions of place and its importance for resilience during a disasters aftermath are scarce. Wallace and Wallace (2008) have emphasised the importance of neighbourhoods in urban resilience, since they constitute the critical level of


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

organization between the individual or family level and the municipality and metropolitan region. According to their study, stability in urban population, housing preservation and formal and informal ties within neighbourhoods would all foster community resilience. Similarly, a publication about New Orleans after Katrina suggests that regardless of social ties, observed that those who returned home during the first year after the Katrina event were more resilient than those were still out of New Orleans, suggesting that home is an important asset to coping with adversity (Glandon et al 2008:S25).

Community response after the Chilean earthquake of 27th February 2010

At the time of this dissertation, literature about the recent earthquake in Chile is almost non-existent. A study carried out by the Centro de Investigacin Social 16 (CIS) two months after the earthquake aimed to provide a broad view of peoples perceptions and reactions to it as well as identify their expectations about the reconstruction process (Del Villar and Pizarro 2010:5). The authors pointed out problems affecting community resilience, including loss of housing and livelihoods as well as human losses and stress17. Emphasis was put on the contradictory effects that emergency housing villages have had. While some communities have strengthened their social ties during the aftermath and onwards, others have had a rather more individualistic response. In addition, the CIS study found that rural communities were better organised than those in urban areas because the first had previous links derived from peoples dependence on public subsidies (see also Pelling 2003). New leaders emerged after the earthquake and some old inactive organisations mobilised again. Previous studies that have traced the weakness of Chilean civil society describe it as an elitist traditional democracy built on a centralised state and a verticalist style of politics (Carruthers 2001:344) as well as suffering after-effects from the military dictatorship which almost exterminated the existing top-down based civil society. The social movements that followed are seen by Carruthers (2001) as a vehicle for
16 17

Social Research Centre, from the NGO Un Techo para Chile (A Roof for Chile). The sample in CIS study corresponded to people who had lost their homes because of the earthquake or the tsunami.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

rebuilding political parties a situation that still influences political decisions, now driven by a neo-liberal approach. Taking the same angle as Carruthers, Brzovic et al

(2010) criticise the attitude taken by the authorities and the media towards the poorer populations of San Pedro after the earthquake: both stigmatised these particular groups as "looters".

Ongoing research
An entirely new field of study is beginning to address the influence of new social networks and other ICTs in improving community resilience. Although Jeannette Sutton and her colleagues have conducted some research in that field (see for example Sutton 2010, Shklovski et al 2008), no research has been carried out where those networks and communications systems failed or were only partially working after a disaster. According to a Red Cross survey from July 2010, 72% of respondents frequently use one or more social networks, and 16% have used them to obtain information about an emergency, Facebook being the most popular online network for emergency purposes. Further research is necessary on the influence of social networks and ICTs in general in community resilience, as their importance in fostering peoples responses after recent disasters, such as the earthquakes in Chile and Haiti, is now well recognised (Red Cross 2010, Inside Facebook 2010).


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

For the present research, the approach used to explore how important social capital and place actually were in community resilience during the emergency period following the Biobo earthquake was to use a single community as a case study, the commune of San Pedro de la Paz in the Metropolitan Area of Concepcin. Case study research seeks to understand a single unit taking into account its specific context and how different factors interact and influence one another in that context (De Vaus 2001). Thus, case study research is particularly suitable for the present investigation because, by studying a single case, it is possible to explore how events unfolded in that particular context. In addition, a case study approach allows researchers to consider the relationships existing between different issues, which this study aims to do for social capital and place, as factors influencing community resilience in the post-disaster context. This research was carried out by employing mixed methods, combining qualitative and quantitative techniques (Gesse-Bibber 2010). The use of mixed methods allows the researcher to explore the same topic from different perspectives in such a way that words, pictures, and narrative can be used to add meaning to numbers (Johnson & Onwuegbuzie 2004 in Gesse-Bibber 2010:3). An online survey and interviews were conducted in combination, with two main objectives in mind. The first was to carry out methods triangulation to look at the convergence or divergence between data collected by each method. This enabled the author to confirm and enhance the credibility of the research findings (Gesse-Bibber 2010). The second objective was to complement the information gathered by each method, and this was done by addressing the same issue from different perspectives.

Research methods description

An online survey was designed to gather data about individual and community behaviour and the use of media and online social networks during the emergency


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

period. In addition, 15 interviews were carried out in San Pedro de la Paz during June, which aimed to collect data about organisational responses and about the significance of place during the emergency period. Both the online survey and the interviews had a questionnaire basis and they included open questions which related to the respondents experiences and opinions (see Appendices 3, 4 and 5). Furthermore, a systematic review was made of Facebook groups, Twitter posts and online newspapers that focused on events in the area of study and the topics under research. This method was used to obtain information about the context in which events took place, but it also allowed triangulation between methods. The next sections provide a brief description of each method employed in the research. Online survey The questionnaire was designed to be answered by people who used online social networks after the earthquake, and who were related in some manner to the area under study, whether through work in San Pedro de la Paz, through living there or because they had relatives or friends there. In 2004, the World Bank launched a questionnaire aiming to measure the social capital of poor households, but not necessarily in the context of disaster management. Consequently, the online survey design for this research took into account some topics covered by the World Bank (2004). The topics included: details of groups and networks to which people belonged before and after the earthquake; collective action and cooperation that took place during the emergency; access to information and communication; also social cohesion and inclusion which go along with sociability. In addition, the questionnaire included questions about the respondents profiles and their experiences during and after the earthquake. The contents of the survey according to the topics mentioned are presented in Table 6.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake


Questions Title Data to be gathered Logic of exclusion Q6: if people did not About you and the 1 to 6 earthquake 1 Profile of respondents and their experience the earthquake,

location when the earthquake occurred they continued at question 14 Reactions, damage suffered, attempts Q13: if people experienced the earthquake, they continued at question 19

About you and the 7 to 13 earthquake 2

at communication and earthquake experiences How people knew about the

The earthquake 14 to 18 from outside San Pedro de la Paz, Villa San Pedro and the 19 to 24 earthquake Problems and community response to face the effects of the 25 to 30 earthquake

earthquake and got news from relatives and friends in affected areas

Relation to and knowledge about San Pedro and its community responses

Problems caused by the earthquake; community organisation, and individual roles in community groups Involvement as a volunteer during the Q32: if people were not involved with formal organisations, they continued at question 36

Formal organisations and 31 to 32 the earthquake 1 Formal organisations and 33 to 35 the earthquake 2 Formal organisations and 36 the earthquake 3

aftermath of the disaster and participation in groups prior to the earthquake

Activities and importance of formal groups after the earthquake

Involvement in formal groups after the earthquake


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake Use of media and social networks Social networks and the response 37 to 47 of the community Authorities, civil society and 48 to 51 community before and after the earthquake; kind of information provided or required; people's involvement Evaluation of the importance that organisations/institutions had for the community after the earthquake

Interviews Two groups of key informants were interviewed in San Pedro de la Paz between 20 th and 26th June 2010 (see Table 7). Firstly, people in command positions in the main local institutions and organisations were contacted, especially those involved in disasterrelated tasks during the emergency period. All of them were interviewed at their work places. Secondly, a group of key informants from the community was interviewed. These included old neighbours, people that worked in the area, and people involved in volunteering activities after the earthquake. For interviewing purposes, a questionnaire was used. Some of the questions were the same as those included in the online survey, so as to gather comparable data. In addition, interviewees were asked about the key resources existing in the area of study (water, food, safe areas for evacuation and heath care services) and their availability for use by the community after the disaster. Other questions were related to organisational activities only. However, the questions did not necessary were asked in order, as the conversation sometimes followed different paths. In addition, when a different topic arose during the interview, interviewees could express their opinions and came back to the questionnaire afterwards. In most cases, this method provided complementary qualitative data which was very useful for the research.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake


Formal institutions / organisations Institution Fire Brigade Position - Superintendent of Fire Place Fire Brigade Headquarters Duration 2.5 hours

Brigade at San Pedro de la Paz - Commandant of 2 Brigade Municipality Director of SECPLA (communal planning department), SECPLAs municipality office at the 1 hour

Emergency office coordinator Municipality Public Affairs Coordinator Public Affairs office at the municipality Teletn Institute

1 hour

Director of Teletn Institute Concepcin



50 minutes

Concepcin, in San Pedro de la Paz





Subcomisara San Pedro de la Paz, Villa San Pedro

40 minutes

(police department at local level), on duty when the earthquake happened Police Officer. Head of the

Comisara San Pedro de la Paz, recently inaugurated

2 hours

Department Links. Family Centre Health Director

for Community




1 hour

Candelaria, San Pedro de la Paz

Communal Union of the Elderly


Villa San Pedro

1 hour


A charity aimed at the rehabilitation of physically disabled children, the Concepcin institute takes care of children from the Maule, Biobo and Araucana regions in Central-South Chile.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

Key informants from the community Interviewee Volunteer Shop employee Restaurant employee
(1) (1)

Where from Huertos Familiares Pronto Copec Bar

Place of interview Pronto Copec (service station) Pronto Copec Bar

Duration 1 hour 1 hour 1.5 hour

Hairdresser Adult neighbour Adult neighbour


Villa San Pedro Huertos Familiares Candelaria Villa San Pedro

His working place, at his home Hairdressers Family Health Centre Interviewees house

1.5 hour 1 hour 40 minutes 1.5 hours


Elderly neighbours

(1) Coincidentally, they also live in San Pedro de la Paz. (2) They asked if they could participate, while the researcher was waiting for the programmed interview to start.

Systematic revision of social networks and media reports There is not much reliable information or scientific research available about the Biobo earthquake because the event happened so recently. For this reason, the researcher used media reports for background information about the progression of events and the overall context. Two online versions of Chilean newspapers were followed throughout the first month after the earthquake, one with national coverage (La Tercera19) and a local one from the Biobo region only (Diario El Sur20). For the same period, the researcher looked at Twitter posts and also at Facebook messages regarding the area under study, posted on different groups or pages (see Table 8).

19 20


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

Members Page / Group / Fans Still Created active Purpose Posts Created by Comments Initially activities were Coordination of volunteers work, social Social Yo soy voluntario en San Pedro de la Paz 344 08-032010 yes but sporadic For AMIGOS DE SAN PEDRO D/L/PAZ JUNTO A LA PDI DE TALCAHUANO AYUDAN 200 16-032010 yes helping of volunteers work, The mother Activities in coastal purpose, activities of members, activities, photographs links to of carried out only in San Pedro; extended Volunteers places. later to they other

very volunteering institutions.


people affected Coordination by

earthquake photographs of activities, thanks from people of a police cities and towns along helped. Information about people in San Pedro, key detective the Biobo region

or tsunami

Terremoto San Pedro de la Paz Ellos robaron en el 719 119

28-022010 04-032010 no n/a Information prior to no n/a




damages, Neighbour Until 7th march

communication networks' status and tips. To denounce and expose people who looted, also links to Aid campaigns. Information about of municipal and activities.


Neighbour Until 26th March Comments, complains about the authorities behaviour

about municipal Availability yes activities.


general Municipal employee

San Pedro de la Paz



information about the earthquake.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

Members Page / Group / Fans

Still Created active Purpose Posts Information about neighbourhood, people, prior to Not active from experiences in Villa San Pedro, information yes June about people after the earthquake. Complains about connectivity after the earthquake, need for a new bridge over Neighbour Created by Comments Not employed frequently for

Yo viv en Villa San Pedro Necesitamos un puente



earthquake purposes.

para unir san pedro de la paz con Concepcin 269 no n/a Information about, Que est pasando en San Pedro de la Paz yo tambin vivo en la "isla" de San Pedro de la Paz 771 369 17-032010 yes yes services

Biobo river Someone who

Until 30th March Page was organised by but info

has neighbourhoods, in people added

and others in the Information about people and news from San family commune Information about the place Pedro de la Paz after the earthquake

San Pedro

directly to the wall. Just initially related to




Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

Data collection
The survey was uploaded to SurveyMonkeyTM and had an accessible link for replying to it. It was online from 19th June to 18th July. To contact potential respondents and announce the survey, a message was posted on Twitter using hastags such as #concepcion #sanpedrodelapaz and @biobio (local radio station), inviting people to participate. In addition, an email was sent to those who posted information or comments on line about San Pedro de la Paz at Diario El Sur after the earthquake, and a message was sent to the researchers relatives in the commune, asking them to circulate an invitation to answer the survey. Facebook was also used to disseminate the survey amongst the researchers contacts (Facebook friends), some of whom were from San Pedro. In addition, an invitation was published on the wall of the main Facebook groups mentioned in Table 8. Additionally, interviewees were contacted personally by the researcher during a fieldtrip in June. The contacts began with a list of possible institutions and community key informants, which was modified during the fieldwork to take into account groups or individuals who appeared with relevant contributions when the interviews took place. The dialogues were recorded if interviewees agreed. Only two of them preferred not to record the conversation, and one did not answer the questionnaire either. (This last interview was documented by taking notes only.)

Data analysis
All the recorded interviews were carefully heard through, and one of them was selected for a full transcription. Of the remaining interviews, only those sections that discussed or threw light on an answer from the questionnaire were transcribed. Transcriptions were done manually, in Spanish. The next step was coding. Open coding of each interview was done (as prescribed in Glaser 1998) and followed by selective coding to organise the interviewees comments according to the research questions.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

In contrast, quantitative data analysis was done using Excel and SPSS. Most of the analysis consisted of descriptive statistics. However, to know if some variables were explained by or related to others, some inferential statistics were calculated as well.

Research limitations
Some limitations of the study had to be acknowledged. These derived from the nature of the research (a case study approach) and from the methods employed. For example, during the process of data collection, the feedback indicated that questions focusing on Villa San Pedro were excessively restrictive, and as a consequence, some of the respondents could not finish the survey. For that reason, those questions were modified to allow respondents to answer in relation to the commune of San Pedro de la Paz as a whole, instead of focusing on one neighbourhood as initially planned. Furthermore, the case study research approach dictates that results are highly contextdependent, particularly in this case since place is one of the factors under study. This means that no generalisations can be made. However, through the use of methods triangulation, there was an attempt to make sure the research was representative of the situation in the commune. In addition, it was observed during the process of data collection that social networks, because of their dynamic nature, had to be frequently updated in the search for potential respondents, since visitors do not always look at old posts. Furthermore, some of the Facebook pages and groups reviewed were no longer active, so the researchers posts there were perhaps barely noticed at all.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake


In this chapter, results from the survey and contributions made by interviewees are selectively presented. First, the profile of survey respondents and a summary of the problems faced by the community after the earthquake are identified. Then results concerning social capital in San Pedro de la Paz are shown. Finally, findings about place in relation to the communitys responses to the earthquake are summarised.

The respondents profile and the problems they faced after the earthquake
After a month, 112 people started to answer the survey and 47 completed it (42%). However, the differences between respondents who finished the survey and those who failed to complete it were not statistically significant in relation to their age range (Somers d=0.112, sig=0.148), nor in relation to their gender (chi square=0.001, df=1, sig=0.975), nor to the place where they live (Somers d=0,092 , sig=0.195). For that reason, only fully completed questionnaires were considered for the purpose of data analysis and discussion. From these respondents, 55% are between 26 and 40 years old (see Table 9). 51% of respondents are men while 49% are women.
T ABLE 9: A GE RANGE OF RESPONDENTS WHO COMPLETED THE SURVEY Gender Male N= 43% 35% 79% 0% 47 100% Female N= 57% 65% 21% 0% 100%

Age range 18 to 25 years old 26 to 40 years old 41 to 65 years old older than 65 years Total

Percentage 15% 55% 30% 0% 100% 7 26 14 0


The respondents exhibit a high level of formal education. More than half (51.1%) have completed undergraduate studies; 21.3% have completed graduate studies; 10.6% have concluded their technical studies, and 14.9% have finished studies at secondary


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

level. Just one person has marked primary education as the highest level of studies achieved. Table 10 shows the main activity or job of the respondents. Careers mentioned in the other category are secretary, teacher and micro-entrepreneur (N=2). Workers in the private sector account for 55.3% of the analysed sample, while 21.3% work in the public sector.
T ABLE 10: RESPONDENTS MAIN JOB OR ACTIVITY Main job or activity Student Civil servant Employee in private sector Entrepreneur Self-employed Pensioned Housekeeper Other Total N 6 10 12 3 9 0 3 4 % 12.8% 21.3% 25.5% 6.4% 19.1% 0.0% 6.4% 8.5%

47 100.0%

As for the place where respondents live, 55.3% live in San Pedro de la Paz; 12.8% live in Concepcin or Talcahuano cities, and 29.8% live in other parts of Chile. One person answered the questionnaire from abroad. In total, 68.1% live in the Metropolitan Area of Concepcin. For most of the respondents, the Biobo earthquake was the first they had experienced (61%). 77% of the sample were at home when the disaster occurred, while 19% were out of the city (where they live) but still felt the tremors. The fact that so many were away can be explained because this was holiday time. People were asked to state, from a given list, the five main problems they faced during the first 48 hours, the first week and the first month after the disaster. The results are summarised in Graph 1. As might be expected, problems changed in their perceived importance as time passed, shifting from the lack of key services to problems of

Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

connectivity and transport. Looting was mentioned amongst the gravest problems up to the first week after the earthquake, when the military took charge of public order. According to the respondents, during the first 48 hours the major problems were lack of access to mobile phones (72%), lack of drinking water (70%) and delinquency and/or looting (70%).

During the first week, the lack of key services (drinking water, electricity, food and fuel) was relevant, while looting (45%) also remained an important problem. Lack of connectivity to Concepcin (43%) was rated in fifth place during the first week after the earthquake and in first place during the first month (40%). The main problems remaining when the survey took place in June were loss of connectivity to Concepcin (45%) and loss of jobs (19%).


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

Social capital in San Pedro de la Paz

This section offers a brief introduction to how the community reacted to the disaster. It then identifies community organisation and networks that existed during the emergency period, as well as peoples participation in formal or informal groups before and after the earthquake. In addition, links between organisations and authorities at community level are addressed. Graph 2 illustrates the peoples reaction to the earthquake, the tsunami and the consequences of these events. The Sanpedrinos21 response shifted from nervous but not uncontrolled and chaotic during the day the earthquake occurred to calmed and organised. However, reactions were varied during the first week, corresponding to a transition period. People who just do not know what the Sanpedrinos responses were are more numerous for the first day (19%) than during other periods consulted, probably because of the lack of communications during those first days.


People who live in or belong to San Pedro de la Paz. Can also be called Sanpedrino (singular)


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

Community organisation Community organisation was assessed according to how extended it was in terms of peoples participation and according to the boundaries of the organisation. In addition, an examination was made of activities faced in a collaborative way up to the end of the first month after the earthquake. Graph 3 presents the types of community organisations existing in different periods during the emergency period. The extent of organisations decreased over time and their personnel also changed in each period. During the first 48 hours, family (77%) and neighbours of the same alley or street (55%) were the main structures for community organisation. The latter was the most common during the first week after the earthquake too, mentioned by 66% of the respondents. During that week family (40%) and friends were also important (43%). Existing groups were not particularly relevant, although the number of respondents who mentioned them rose from 9% to 19% at the end of the first month.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

Participation in community groups was massive amongst respondents. As Table 11 shows, 51.1% were directly involved in community groups after the earthquake and 19.1% stated that, although they did not personally take part, other members of their household did. 90.9% of those who were not involved in community groups live outside Biobo region.

Role in neighbours groups after the earthquake I led a group I participated in the same way other members did I did not actively participate, but people in my household did Nobody at home participated Neighbours did not organise themselves where I live The earthquake was not felt where I live. Did not answer the question

N 4 20 9 3 6 2 3

% 8.5% 42.6% 19.1% 6.4% 12.8% 4.3% 6.4%

Moreover, just two of the interviewees did not get into any kind of organisation with others after the earthquake, and similar reasons were given by both. One of them declared he live[s] in a place constantly frequented by military, so it was not necessary. In addition, the street where I live is too wide for closing it. Problems that people faced in a collaborative manner during the first 48 hours and the first week after the earthquake fall into three main categories: lack of drinking water, lack of food and fuel, and defensive tasks (see Graph 4). Difficulty in accessing mobile phones or other communication services was also important during the first 48 hours, as well as the lack of electricity. The latter increased in importance during the first week. However, by the end of the first month, tasks undertaken collaboratively diminished significantly and also shifted to problems that were still remaining at that time, such as lack of connectivity and public transport, and non-functioning schools.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake


Key informants from the community were asked in interview why they thought people needed to work collaboratively (see Table 12). Five of them considered fear of looting/burglaries to be one of the main reasons people had to respond as they did; 3 of them mentioned it as the most important one of all.

Reasons for taking collective action Physical isolation (lack of bridges working) Lack of basic services and food Lack of support from authorities Need to "do something" The magnitude of the disaster I saw other people organising themselves Fear of looting/burglaries Other reason (emotional support and mutual company)

1 place 2 place 3 place Total 0 0 1 0 1 0 3 1 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 2 0 1 1 5 1





Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

Respondents stressed that community organisation was based on the spatial proximity of neighbours. As one of them pointed out, they came together and organised by streets, alleys and blocks to protect [themselves] from criminals, exchange experiences, share food, medicine... Furthermore, in some sectors the organisation had different spatial scales. One respondent stated that organisation was by blocks, adjacent blocks, and by sectors by means of the neighbours committee22. Community groups began with spontaneous actions, which ended up in organised activities. A neighbour explained it as follows: *our organisation] started closing alleys spontaneously. Then, by means of neighbourhood leaders got concerned about health, vigilance and food issues. Neighbours groups were considered almost as significant as families and relatives and more relevant than any formal social group existing before the earthquake (see Table 13). However, the importance of these emergent groups decreased sharply by the end of the first month.

First 48 hours Very Organisation / institution Relatives and friends Groups of neighbours organised after the earthquake Neighbours committee Formal social groups Church 68,90% 33.3% 20.0% 4.4% 6.7% 17.8% 17.8% 20.0%

First week Very

First month Very

important Important important Important important Important 80,00% 11.1% 66.7% 15.6% 62.2% 13.3%

62.2% 31.1% 26.7% 8.9%

20.0% 22.2% 11.1% 22.2%

33.3% 20.0% 24.4% 13.3%

15.6% 22.2% 13.3% 6.7%


In Spanish, Junta de Vecinos. Is the main kind of formal community organisation in Chile. Its boundaries are defined by the municipality. There could be one or more of them within a commune, depending on the size of the commune and its population density.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

When asked if neighbours groups remain active, most of the interviewees conceded that they were only operative during the first month. However, five of them declared that many groups are indeed still active but have changed their focus, either to present their common needs to the authorities or to keep up the friendship amongst neighbours. One community key informant explained:
We still meet to have barbecues or to chat. (...) As we met and became friends, if a mother or anybody has problems or is working, and the child has finished at school or something, any of us goes to pick him up... That's what we won from the earthquake.

New formal groups were acknowledged by community members as well as the authorities. One interviewee from the municipality discussed the effects those groups will have:
Anyway, that facilitates our job, because you have people there, available. But it is also more complicated because when you have better organised people, you also have more demanding neighbours.

Other groups or organisations after the earthquake It has been mentioned before that Sanpedrinos were massively involved in neighbours groups. However, those were not the only emergent groups that operated during the emergency period. Three other social groups were recognised; volunteers, online social networks and looters, with individuals operating within one or more of these groups. Many people went spontaneously to the municipality asking how to help. Most of them were secondary or undergraduate students. A municipal employee assumed the role of coordinator for volunteering activities. In addition a volunteers internal organisation evolved over time, as one volunteers leader explained:
There always were coordinators from the municipality. Then, after being transferred to the Sports Centre, they let us work alone. During the first week we worked in the municipality building and it became chaotic as time passed and more people came. ... We organised ourselves too. Since people was in the same school or live in Villa San Pedro, lots of us knew each other before. The first week things worked in this way: we meet tomorrow at 7:30 am and get off at 8:00 pm. After a week, we could use


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

computers, so we created a Facebook group to organise our activities and work shifts posting messages there. After that, more people came; from 40, at the end we were around 300 volunteers. When there was less to do, we started to send people home... Then, some had to go back to school, most of us...

Tasks also changed as time passed. The volunteers started sorting and packaging food to be delivered amongst residents. Then they contributed by distributing aid by car. Volunteers also identified people in need, by means of messages posted in Facebook. In addition, when food and water became available in San Pedro, the volunteers proposed to the local authorities that they use the donations which were still pouring in to help people in other communes, whose needs were addressed. Some volunteers then joined formal groups that remain working, such as Un Techo para Chile. Within the sample, 40% of respondents participated in volunteering activities after the earthquake (see Table 14). Some of them were involved in activities within and outside the commune where they live. They were more likely to participate within their commune during the first days after the earthquake, while participation in other communes increased during the first month, and this is consistent with what interviewees pointed out.

Participation in volunteer activities Yes, within my commune Yes, outside my commune No

First 48 hours 10 3 26

The first week 7 6 18

The first month 5 13 18

% of respondents 28% 34% 60%

Social networks such as Twitter or Facebook facilitated peoples response in several ways during the emergency period, and their importance have been already recognised (see for example Red Cross 2010). The number of Twitter accounts increased 189.64% during the first two weeks after the disaster and there were more


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

than a million postings between the 28th February and the 14th March23 (Simplycit 2010). Furthermore, more than 500 pages and groups have been created on Facebook in Chile because of the earthquake, some of which remain active (see Table 8 in the Methodology chapter). For example, the page Fuerza y Ayuda a las Vctimas del Terremoto en Chile (27/02/2010) is still operating for relief activities. That page has almost a million fans 24 and it was named by several interviewees and survey respondents. It should be mentioned that 36% of Chiles population now have monthly active accounts on Facebook, according to Inside Facebook (2010). During the first week after the earthquake, the pages/groups reviewed were aimed at acquiring and sharing information about people and places. After the first week, common topics were how to help in person or through the internet. Then, a broader range of issues followed, including, amongst others, the exposure of looters and complains about the attitude of the authorities. People who used Twitter and Facebook participated in various ways, posting information about their own situation, asking for information, or sharing information about people and places with others. Those better connected acted as nodes in the network and were active in organising data and verifying information. An interviewee described his participation on Twitter and Facebook:
Nothing was said about San Pedro on TV or radio outside Concepcins area, or about Chiguayante... Miraculously my mother could always use her mobile. I called her or friends I could locate to ask them... so, if people asked about those places, I found information and uploaded it from Via25. A lot of people live in San Pedro, but it is not so big. You could talk about most places, because you are familiar with them or have friends there. In addition, the mere fact of having to go fetching water from the lagoon, forced people to cross all of San Pedro, or the greater part of it, so you could see what was happening...

108,733 accounts existed on 26th February 2010; 69,294 were created during the first week and 136,903 during the second week after the earthquake (Simplycit 2010). There are no studies about how many of them remain active. 24 st 962,989 fans on the 31 August 2010. 25 A city in central Chile.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

In addition, a respondent, who lived in San Pedro years ago but has family there, explained how information in Facebook was organised:
People who had family in a specific place, tried to seek information about it. So we organised the posts by sectors, and if someone knew or wanted to know anything about a sector, we passed the comment to someone from that neighbourhood. Information was so chaotic at the beginning and there were too many posts...

Amongst survey respondents, 78.7% used Facebook before the earthquake and 13.3% started to use it after the earthquake. 17% had a Twitter account before and 4 people (8.9%) created an account after the 27th February. The use of social networks and online newspapers after the earthquake was massive within the sample; 97.9% of respondents used one or more of them during the emergency period, although 16 of them (34%) did it only during the first days. During the emergency period, 19 people from the sample (40.4%) participated in Facebook or Twitter groups about San Pedro. It must be acknowledged that the resulting participation rate might be influenced by the nature of the sample, since respondents were recruited mainly by using those social networks. However, access to internet was constrained by lack of electricity and mobile phones, and the sample also accounts for that situation. In addition, others did not think about the possibility of using any other media than the radio during the first days, even if they frequently used them during normal times. Finally, regarding emergent groups, an unexpected kind of group appeared immediately after the earthquake: organised looters were the first ones who committed robberies when the disaster occurred; they were followed by anonymous individuals only later. Allusions to these groups were frequent amongst respondents and interviewees. One of them, who normally works with people in different sectors of the commune revealed:
Old neighbours told me how, in their sector in Boca Sur26, people from all along the alley met to come and loot. They left no people in their houses and all of them came, by


A sector inhabited mainly by low income population. It was urbanised during the latest years of the dictatorship, when impoverished people from different sectors of Concepcin were moved to the south side of river Biobo.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

using cars or even little buses. ... But people are afraid of them, so they wouldnt denounce anybody.

However, some of them consider the existence of organised looters to be myth. One interviewee highlighted the role that radio would have on that:
A neighbour said on air throngs are coming from Coronel27; then another, also on air, said groups of looters are coming from Boca Sur and it was like a snowball, because people on the radio didnt check the information before.

As a result of being constantly mentioned by both people and authorities, one of the neighbours committee from Boca Sur issued a communiqu turning over the responsibility to the authorities. One of its sections stated:
In relation to the "looters", clarify that this situation is out of the neighbours responsibility. The Governments failure cannot be paid by the neediest. The despair and uncertainty of what will happen and the lack of food forced many families to enter the supermarkets and get food for their family...28(cited in Brzovic et al 2010).

Peoples participation in formal groups before the earthquake Individuals involvement in formal organisations prior to the disaster was ascertained by means of the survey. 44.7% of respondents participated in one or more formal groups before the earthquake, and 46.2% of those living in San Pedro did so (see Table 15). 92.3% of the Sanpedrinos involved in formal organisations were members of one group. As for their roles in these groups, 23.8% led a group, 47.6% participated as regular members and 28.6% declared that they participated just occasionally.

27 28

Coronel is a city located 30 km to the south of San Pedro de la Paz. Half an hour after the earthquake looting occurred affecting supermarkets, service stations, restaurants and other stores within the commune.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake


People from San Pedro de la Participation in formal groups before the earthquake Neighbours committee Un Techo para Chile (NGO) Religious group Sporting Club Association of parents and carers Professional association Labour union Political party Other Total respondents who participated in formal groups None Paz 1 1 2 1 2 3 0 0 3 12 14 3 0 3 2 3 2 2 1 0 9 12 4 1 4 3 5 5 2 1 3 21 26 People from other places Total

From a given list, the main activities mentioned by respondents involved in formal groups after the disaster were: assistance for people affected (52.4%), collection and distribution of aid (47.6%) and support to members of the organisation (38%). However, few people considered pre-existing groups were important for them during the emergency period; most respondents mentioned family, friends and groups of neighbours. Nevertheless, by mid July, 8.5% of responded had joined some formal group; and two of them had joined volunteering groups. No correlation was found between peoples participation in groups before and after the earthquake, either regarding the place where they live or their role in formal and informal groups. However, according to the municipal authorities interviewed, prior to the earthquake community organisations were much more abundant and active in poor sectors than in others.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

Links to other institutions and organisations Three groups of institutions or organisations were active during the emergency period in San Pedro de la Paz: public institutions and local authorities; community groups; and social networks groups. They worked independently of one another, but links were observed amongst them. Figure 8 in the following page, illustrates organisations, institutions and their links represented as a network. During emergencies at municipal level, the institutions involved constitute the Municipal Emergency Committee, which is led by the Mayor29. In addition, some high municipal officials played an important role after the disaster. For example, the Emergency Coordinator worked with neighbours committees and then informal groups of neighbours to distribute aid in a more efficient manner. In addition, volunteers were coordinated by a municipal employee who normally had different responsibilities (Director of Urbanism). Conversely, neighbours groups rarely related to sectors other than their own, except to contiguous groups or places where peoples friends lived. Finally, groups in social networks were linked to all who could access the internet. Links between municipality and neighbours groups were sporadic, as well as those amongst other institutions and neighbours, except when a neighbour worked in one of these more official organisations. Volunteers were important nodes connecting the different layers, as they had access to municipal information, groups of neighbours where they lived, and social networks. Equally important were firemen, since most of them live also in the commune.


For San Pedro, it was activated at 8:30 am on 27 February, according to institutional interviewees. Each municipality must do the same, and this is replicated at regional and at national level. At national level the main organisation is ONEMI (Oficina Nacional de Emergencias or National Bureau of Emergencies).



Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

Groups in Social networks

Other authorities

Neighbours groups Army forces

Fire department

Emergency coordinator

Neighbours committees

Health Department Volunteers coordinator

Volunteers group

Other volunteers


Source: Diagram by the author, based on interviews and questionnaires responses. Dashed links refer to sporadic connections between nodes. Links and nodes represent the kind of connections in the network, but not their density.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

Notions about place

The last part of this chapter summarises the research results on the role of place in Sanpedrinos resilience after the Biobo earthquake. Respondents as well as interviewees have a good knowledge of the commune (see Table 16). 68% of respondents and 85.7% of interviewees considered they had sufficient or great knowledge of the commune before the earthquake. In addition, 61.7% of respondents and 57.1% of interviewees have known the area for more than 10 years.
Group people of I did not know the place To a small Neither small nor extent Survey respondents Community key informants Authorities and institutions 1 1 1 5 6 6 5 5 great I knew enough about place 13 the I knew to the a



great extent 18

Geographical characteristics of San Pedro were influential on the effects of the earthquake. People thought of hills in San Pedro as safety zones. These were used for the first time during the false tsunami evacuation in 2005. However, most of residents went to the same places (Andalu or Idahue) when evacuating both times. Only neighbours who lived furthest from the centre of the commune went to other hills closer to their homes. Furthermore, some people attributed the minimum effects the tsunami had in San Pedro to its geographical context. One respondent expressed it as follows:
Damage in San Pedro was minimal and we are grateful that the epicentre was not further south or further west, because in that case, Hualpn Peninsula would not have


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

protected the coast of San Pedro, and there would have been many dead in Boca Sur, Michaihue, and other sectors.

On the contrary, the few buildings damaged by the earthquake were built over former wetlands and new residents were unaware of that situation. A low underground water table was acknowledged as positive because it allowed the use of punteras30. The existence of lagoons was also recognised as an advantage San Pedro has over other places in the Concepcin Metropolitan Area. Key resources31 in San Pedro Respondents and interviewees acknowledged that key resources existed in San Pedro de la Paz and emphasised that, as a result of the minimal damage caused directly by the earthquake and tsunami to buildings there, the commune would recover very soon from the impact of the disaster. Although they were aware that electricity and drinking water services could be problematic, they knew they would be able to buy basic supplies at supermarkets located in the area. One interviewee summarised:
Analytically speaking, that is what I do not like about the earthquake: looting. Because San Pedro would be working normally the next day or two days after. If they would have to close the shops, it was only to straighten them up, and just for a couple of days. And wed had what we needed here, shops, service stations, everything.

Drinking water was a big issue after the earthquake. Although some people had water stored32, the shortage of drinking water was evident during the first days, and was worsened because of the looting. Water from lagoons, especially from Laguna Grande, was used for washing, showers and toilets, and even for cooking. Drinking water was obtained from punteras, or from little springs (see Figure 9) when not provided by firemen.


System to extract water directly from ground sources, which are not deep in San Pedro because the commune is located near to the River Biobo and to the Pacific Ocean coast line, with extended plains at lower altitudes. 31 Water, food, fuel, health centres and evacuation or safety zones. 32 Especially people who had lived through previous earthquakes, and mainly old people.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake



where are

punteras abundant

River Biobo

Main source, lagoon



punteras might exist Laguna Grande

Little spring

Laguna Chica

Little spring

Source: drawn by the author. The image is from Google Earth.

One of the interviewees explained where they obtained water, pointing out the range of sources they used:
The water my grandfather had was nothing amongst all those people. We survived using lagoon water; we boiled it. Later, when electricity came back, I had an aunt who had a puntera. Its water was very clean, so we went to get water from there. We also had a puntera, but the water was too dirty, so we used it for showers...

Some sources were drawn on extensively (like lagoons) but others were available to those with better knowledge of the area. An old neighbour explained: we had drinking water all the time, since we brought it from a little spring we knew on the way to Santa Juana, 5 km from here.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

Functional and spatial issues about place Three main functional-spatial aspects with an impact on community resilience emerged from the research. First, lack of access to Concepcin influenced community resilience as well as institutional responses. People were left on their own for several days, but they had always been aware this could happen. One interviewee claimed that they lived in the Independent Republic of San Pedro33, while other described San Pedros situation as follows:
We have always known that connectivity here is very fragile to the north [to Concepcin] and also to the south, where Los Batros bridge connects us to Coronel.

Lack of connectivity constrained peoples displacement out of San Pedro, and still remains a problem because 56% of Sanpedrinos who work or study, have to commute to other cities in the Concepcin Metropolitan Area (INE 2002). During the first week after the earthquake, many people did not go to work due to transport problems, but also because they put families and their security first. For example, the main Family Health Centre in San Pedro, located in Candelaria neighbourhood (see Map 1), operated with 15 or 20 people out of a normal 400 during the first days. Access issues also made the recovery of commercial activities slower because it was difficult to bring supplies into the commune, as most trucks were unable to reach San Pedro crossing the only bridge still functioning34.


This assertion dates back more than 30 years. San Pedro depended on Coronel and then on Concepcin before being designated a commune in 1995. 34 They had to use alternative routes and due to the lack of fuel during the first two weeks, cargo transport was almost impossible throughout that period.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake



7 1

6 2

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Laguna Grande Laguna Chica Laguna Italia Consultorio / Health centre Municipalidad / Municipality Supermercados / Supermarkets Carabineros / Police station

Source: Modified from Duran 2006. Main urban land uses: yellow, housing; red, commerce; purple: industries and warehouses; blue, schools. Arrows illustrate main evacuation routes after earthquake.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

The second functional-spatial issue refers to the land use mix in the commune. Although San Pedro is considered a bedroom commune, it has many services including supermarkets, service stations and pharmacies, which have grown in number with the increase in population. Although most of them were closed for the first days or weeks because they were looted, people acknowledged their existence as an asset. In addition, local primary and secondary schools have become more significant as people have moved their children from traditional schools in Concepcin and Talcahuano back to San Pedro, due to transport problems. Furthermore, food industries and large warehouses in San Pedro (see Map 1) were very important; as an interviewee from the municipality explained:
Industries and warehouses located in the area donated food to the municipality and we distributed it amongst respondent institutions and organised communities. They did it because they were afraid of looting, but also because they were likely to lose products that needed refrigeration, as they could not take them out of San Pedro because of the bridges.

The third factor is related to the spatial configuration of neighbourhoods, which was crucial for neighbours responses. Figure 10 illustrates different typologies and schematically explains how neighbours groups were formed according to the specific configuration of their neighbourhood. Spatial proximity to others facilitated collective action as well as controlling access to alleys and streets (typology A). Conversely, gated condominios were already closed to strangers, but most of them are located in areas of low population density, leaving their residents isolated from others. Those residents coped with isolation issues including in their organisation different spatial scales (typology B).


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake




Alleys are the scale of community organisation. TYPOLOGY B

Condominios are the scale of community organisation, but also exists links between them, including more than one block. Source: Drawn by the researcher. The images are from Google Earth


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

However, interviewees recognised that in case of a tsunami, the spatial structure of the coastal neighbourhoods would have hampered evacuation because the alleys are too narrow and intricate for safety, as these are the densest areas in the commune. In addition, these neighbourhoods have concentrations of people with low incomes, and not all of them can afford private transport. Nevertheless, solidarity had an important role there as those who had buses or vans offered help to their neighbours during the evacuation. Some social issues that could influence peoples responses Two social factors were acknowledged as having an effect on community responses. Firstly, existing resentment amongst deprived populations living spatially segregated within the commune (see Map 2) was seen as one of the causes of the antisocial behaviour that spread after the earthquake. The poor turned to robbery where rich people live, while the rich said if they are doing so, and they are not going to starve, we should do the same (interviewee, citing a comment heard during the evacuation). Another interviewee illustrated the situation as follows:
Segregation is physically marked here, by a natural and an artificial boundary, the Los Batros wetland and Route 160. Lets say, both sectors were angry with each other and it was visible. The lower income populations came to Andalu and the people did not think the others were running for their lives, they just thought a chavs crowd was invading them.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake


3 2 3

2 2 1 2

2 2

2 2


1 High Income / Altos ingresos 2 Middle Income / Ingresos medios 3 Low Income / Bajos ingresos

Source: Modified from Duran 2006


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

Secondly, the same segregated structure means that different neighbourhoods have a remarkable sense of community. San Pedro is not unitary and people emphasised this during the research. Both interviewees and survey respondents highlighted their sector as distinctive from others. At the same time, to live on the other side of the river is also a factor that has strengthened peoples attachment to place, whatever sector of San Pedro they live in. A young interviewee, who lives and works in San Pedro, said:
We wont leave here. We have always lived here and all my friends do. Of course it is complicated now, because the university is in Concepcin, so you have half or your life there. But we are 100% Sanpedrinos.

A similar feel for place may be expressed by people who do not live in San Pedro. For example, a municipal interviewee acknowledged that:
Im not Sanpedrina but Id like to be, because San Pedro is a beautiful place. You have everything here, you have tranquillity here... of course there is the problem of the bridges... but anyway! Here in San Pedro, if you want to go to the hills, you can; do you want a lagoon? It is here! ... Something special happens here. Those who live in old neighbourhoods today, as in Villa San Pedro or Candelaria, are the children of former residents. They dont move. In addition, if people come to San Pedro to live, it is probably because they want to be on the other side of the river.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake


This research aimed to assess how important social capital and place are in enhancing or constraining community resilience during the emergency period following a natural disaster. In a case study, it looked at San Pedro de la Paz in the Biobo region, its communitys responses and the influence of its surrounding environment after the 2010 earthquake. In this chapter, the results are discussed in the light of the literature reviewed and the research questions posed, offering some explanations about how community responses were improved or hampered by social capital and place in San Pedro.

Looting as an igniter of community responses

To study why looting occurred was beyond the scope of this research. However it was of major relevance because it impaired but also triggered community responses during the emergency period. On the one hand, it prevented San Pedro de la Paz from getting back to normal as soon as it should have done, considering that there was no major damage to infrastructure or housing and no loss of life. The looting caused food and fuel shortage and also increased recovery costs for medium and small business that had no insurance coverage. On the other hand, looting was the main catalyst for community organisation and response in two ways. Fear of looting and the need to protect family and goods, just as much as food, water and fuel needs, encouraged people to organise themselves, sharing their abilities and resources. Conversely, some people organised themselves as an atypical emergent group taking advantage of the situation to loot both in different sectors of the commune. What happened in San Pedro de la Paz contradicts in several ways what has been reported by disaster researchers. First of all, the fear of looting did not prevent people from evacuating their homes (see Fisher 1998); most of the population evacuated immediately after the earthquake although no tsunami warning had been issued by

Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

the authorities. Secondly, although the literature accepts that in some situations looting occurs, it is stated that in the rare cases it does occur, it is done by lone individuals from outside the community (Helsloot and Ruitenberg 2004:102; citing Tierney 1989 and Quarantelli 1993). What this research suggests is that looting in San Pedro de la Paz was massive (see Figure 11), involving both organised groups and opportunistic individuals, mostly from the same commune. Moreover, it was not only poor people who were implicated in anti-social behaviour as inhabitants of higher income areas also participated35. Some similarities to previous research findings emerged too. Although there is no consensus on the reasons for the looting, some of the interviewees pointed out that it reflects what society is nowadays, one in which criminals act every time they have the occasion (see Barsky et al, 2006 about looting after Hurricane Katrina). Looters would have taken the opportunity provided by the lack of law enforcement after the earthquake (see ALNAP 2009:9). Reports of looting decreased sharply after the military took control of security tasks and the prosecution of criminals began. Some respondents pointed out that the spatial distribution of different socio-economic groups within the commune was a source of social resentment between rich and poor, a situation that would have influenced antisocial behaviour after the earthquake. Tobin (1999) suggests that differences between groups may be exaggerated in the post-disaster community (Tobin 1999: 20); and this was probably the case here.


Only 10% of those arrested for looting had a previous criminal history (La Tercera, 24 March 2010).



Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake


1. Looting at a supermarket, burned later on.

2. People taking fuel from a service station

3. People taking stolen goods home

4. Food distribution centre after being looted

Source: Galera Pblica de Canal 9 Regional. Available online at (last accessed 1 September 2010). Photographs credits: 1. Felipe Rozas, 2. Anonymus, 3. Pilar Gonzalez, 4. Patricio Ortega. All the photographs correspond to San Pedro de la Paz

Social capital, place and community resilience after the disaster

For the purpose of this research, social capital was considered as a multi-level asset, comprising individual participation in formal or informal groups or networks in the community, as well as the links between them and established institutions. Place was understood as a system that includes physical infrastructure and natural resources, where most of community relations take place. As the following sections examine, the results suggest that both social capital and place contributed to community resilience


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

in San Pedro de la Paz and also influenced one another, as Cutter et al (2008) assumed when proposing their DROP model. Separation of social capital and place is thus arbitrary as both factors interact as part of the same system: the community. For this reason, social capital and place are discussed together. Baseline versus adaptative resilience According to Cutter et al (2008) the antecedent conditions constitute communitys inherent or base resilience, which is determined by processes between place and society. Measuring base resilience was not the aim of this research; however, it was acknowledged that antecedent conditions were likely to allow a rapid recovery from the immediate effects of the earthquake. Place topography provided safety areas for evacuation which were accessible to the population, even though evacuation was carried out instinctively without following a plan. In addition, the geomorphology of the surrounding environment mitigated the effects of the tsunami, so no damage was caused by it. Buildings were safe, and as a result, only those located in vulnerable places (e.g. on wetlands) suffered damage. Although problems of connectivity to Concepcin were to be expected considering the magnitude of the event, nobody anticipated that all the bridges would be damaged. However, San Pedro had enough food and fuel stock in supermarkets and local stores if they were not looted. Although drinking water could be a problem, there are many sources from which water can be obtained in an emergency. Social capital before the disaster was unevenly distributed within the commune, the number of active formal organisations being distinctly higher in low income neighbourhoods than in other sectors of the commune. Accordingly, poor people were inherently more resilient than others with regard to their formal organisation structures (Comfort, 1999). Informal ties, however, are likely to have been more homogenously distributed, especially amongst young people studying and living in the commune. These ties were more important for coping activities after the disaster than the formal community organisations existing prior to the earthquake. The latter is consistent with Wallace and Wallace (2008), in terms of the importance of maintaining


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

strong ties within the community, but did not hampered responses in those areas where no previous weak social ties existed. Summarising, San Pedro was inherently resilient since there were resistant physical infrastructures and a natural environment that minimised the consequences of the earthquake as well as permitting people to access evacuation areas. However, base resilience was hampered by lack of connectivity, especially due to the functional dependence of San Pedro on the other side of the river. There were inequalities in inherent resilience when it came to social capital amongst neighbourhoods, this varying according to the socio-economic strata of their populations. Although poorer sectors had more previous social organisations, they were considered more vulnerable because they live in risky areas and also because of having far more limited reserves (ALNAP 2008:8. See also Godschalk 2003). Nevertheless, baseline resilience was largely modified by coping responses immediately after the disaster, so it was not indicative of the level of resilience the community had during the emergency period (Tierney 2009). Figure 12, based on the DROP model applied to the case study, shows how coping responses during the first moments after the event influenced disaster impacts on the community. After evacuation (a positive coping response), looting followed (a negative coping response). As a result, the disaster impact increased greatly and the absorptive capacity of the community was exceeded. As the model is supposed to be applied in the long term, and this research aimed to study only the emergency period, it has been modified to explain the process during that period. Adaptative resilience was in place during the emergency period, but the recovery process has not finished yet, rather it has only recently started. Adaptative responses in social capital encompassed the emergence of new social capital as well as modifications in the structure of existing organisations. The response included too the employment of all available communication means and connectedness in its many forms. In addition, in terms of place, adaptative capacities led people to find alternative resources locally available (water and firewood) and community organisations emerged influenced by the physical structure of each neighbourhood.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake


Earthquake M= 8.8 Effects: -2 victims, and few buildings collapsed - Loss of connectivity - Failure in communications - Electricity and water service down Inherent or baseline resilience as explained

+ Evacuation: few harmed people, despite inexistence of evacuation plans - Looting: few people won, most loose, disregarding their socioeconomic condition

1. Community isolated and lacking of food, water, electricity and fuel. 2.Unstable and intermittent communications 3. No people severely injured Few people displaced

Source: Schematic representation drawn by the author, based on Cutter et al 2008, from main impacts generated in San Pedro de la Paz, after coping capacities that followed the earthquake.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

Emergent groups, emergent behaviour and the role of existing organisations Emergent phenomena, as understood in Quarantelli (1994), were present in San Pedro during the emergency period that followed the 27th February earthquake in both forms; emergent behaviour and emergence groups. Organisational expansion, extension and emergence are key in resilient responses (Tierney 2009) and all of them were observed, even though the institutional network had a pre-established structure which, according to Quarantelli (1994), might discourage emergence. Specifically in relation to social capital, emergent behaviour was observed amongst individuals as well as within formal organisations. Neighbours committees and other formal community based organisations (CBOs) shifted their normal activities during the emergency period to carry out disaster-related tasks. However, much more important than previous CBOs were the emergent groups. These groups were acknowledged by the municipal authorities in such a way that they were used as the official channel of communication with the community; accordingly to what Stallings and Quarantelly (1985) suggested in order to let emergent groups act. Enhancing rather than ignoring emergent groups facilitated the responses of both neighbours and authorities. Emergent groups had two different spatial scales in San Pedro. On the one hand, neighbours groups and looters were formed within neighbourhoods at a local scale. The responses of these groups were spontaneous; and multiple tasks were performed, although the main ones related to providing security to people and houses as well as obtaining food and water. Other tasks were dependent on the bonds that emerged, and involved for example, taking care of children, providing medicines and offering emotional support to families. On the other hand, volunteers groups had a communal scale and were representative of convergence at that level. After the first weeks, when the situation in San Pedro de la Paz started getting back to normal, volunteers converged to other communes that needed help, because structural damage there hampered community resilience. The emergence of neighbours groups and peoples participation in those emergent organisations were massive in San Pedro, and that could be understood as both an


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

indicator of the severity of the disaster (Tierney 2009) and an indicator of post-disaster adaptative resilience at community level, influenced by physical and environmental conditions of place (Cutter et al 2008). In addition, contrary to what normally happens in disasters of a larger scale, both physical and virtual emergence and convergence in San Pedro mainly involved people who shared a common familiarity with people or place. The situation was highly influenced by the physical isolation caused by lack of connectivity after the earthquake. Moreover, although neighbours could be unaware of the capabilities of others and uncertain about the nature of their relationships with one another (Tierney and Trainor 2004), common needs and problems prevailed and promoted collective responses. Robustness, redundancy, resourcefulness and rapidity of social capital and place Physical infrastructures in the commune were robust because they did not suffer direct damage from the earthquake. However, commerce and services could not meet demand as looting was uncontrolled during the first three days of the emergency. In addition, urban reliance on provision of potable water, fuel and electricity from outside the commune meant that community resilience was hampered at the beginning through lack of these services. However, redundancy of key resources such as water (including punteras, lagoons and springs) allowed the community to meet its needs despite the loss of functionality of primary systems (Tierney 2003:2). The same happened on a smaller scale with fuel, which was replaced by using firewood from the hills. Food was also provided for the community from redundant resources, although in this case the municipality acted as an intermediary between private business in the commune (which donated food) and neighbours, who received it. Interviewees recognised that they felt vulnerable since they had gone back to the Stone Age, having to use water and fuel directly from their surrounding environment, with no communication technologies working and tasks differentiated by gender, since men were in charge of security activities while women cooked and took care of


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

children. However, they also acknowledged how fortunate they were for having all they needed there and were proud of their abilities to cope with difficulties efficiently and rapidly. Thus the emergence of new social capital during the emergency period, whether in groups, in social networks, or local neighbours groups, demonstrated resourcefulness and rapidity at community level human and material resources [where conveniently assigned+ to meet priorities and achieve goals (Tierney 2003). Priorities and goals where determined by considering the specific problems the community faced, but the process of decision was intuitive and improvised from the first moments on: community responses were driven by the need for evacuation first; and then protection of property and family, and seeking information. The role of neighbourhoods and neighbours In this research, the neighbourhood was understood, following Wallace and Wallace (2008), as the intermediate scale between the family and the community. Its role was significant during the emergency period in San Pedro de la Paz. For example, because neighbours shared resources and experiences, the burden on individuals and families diminished. In addition, physical isolation and lack of communications during the first days made it difficult for people with family ties outside the physical limits of the community to rely on them for social support (as discussed in Norris et al 2008), so neighbours temporarily provided it. In addition, Wallace and Wallace (2008) state that weak and strong social ties influence community resilience and that the role of neighbourhood is significant. They point out that poor people have an extensive influence on the definition and focus of municipal policies, and this generalisation is effective for San Pedro de la Paz in normal times, since poor sectors have more and stronger formal organisations than people in other neighbourhoods. However, after the earthquake, neighbours organisations sprang up all along the commune, regardless of the socio-economic status of their residents or their previous relationships. Physical segregation of the different social classes implies that each neighbourhood is internally homogeneous; however, in San Pedro,


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

homogeneity within neighbourhoods enhanced rather than impaired resilience, contrary to suggestions made by Wallace and Wallace (2008). Neighbours sense of similarity and interdependence (Edelstein 1988 in Norris et al 2008) led to the emergence of a sense of community at neighbourhood level during the emergency period, although it is uncertain how strong it was and how long it will remain. Spatial configuration, according to respondents and interviewees, had a major role influencing the size of each group, which depended on the length and width of alleys and streets, as well as being influenced by population density. Concepts such as visibility and connectivity were mentioned by interviewees when referring to the extent of organisations and the decision whether or not to join up with others. Space syntax research originally developed by Hillier and his colleagues at UCL, studies the spatial complexity of the city by means of schematic representations of its physical structure. From a study of the urban spatial network at different scales, spatial integration and intelligibility are evaluated and then their influence on human behaviour within the city. For example, studies about crime patterns demonstrate that crime is less frequent in more integrated sectors of the city where people and vehicle flux are higher (Shu 1999, cited in Greene and Mora 2008:151). That assumption is consistent with the fact that people in wider and busier roads did not collaborate in organisations with their neighbours after the earthquake. The results of this research suggest that there was a relation between neighbours organisations and spatial configuration at neighbourhood level after the earthquake. However, the data gathered is not enough to perform a syntactic analysis exploring the extent to which these organisations depended on the urban fabric. ICTs and the role of online social networks Finally the role of new media and social networks such as Twitter and Facebook during the emergency period in San Pedro must be discussed. Existing research emphasises the speed of response that new media and networks have, and also how reliable they are in the information they give in the midst of natural and technological disasters, because facts have been cross-checked by members (see for instance Sutton et al


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

2008, Vieweg et al 2008, Sutton 2010). In the present research, respondents considered that social networks were faster than other media in providing information after the earthquake (64%) and one third of respondents also believed that information provided by social networks was more accurate. No previous study had been done on social networks during the post-disaster response in places where communications were seriously affected as a consequence of the disaster. In this research, the effectiveness of social networks in improving community resilience was dependent on the availability of Internet connection, which interviewees and survey respondents defined as intermittent but improving through time. However, previous connectedness of people who used social networks, in terms of their knowledge of place and the amount of links (people) they had in the community, also influenced the effectiveness and efficiency of those media, both for seeking and for providing information about the commune. Few links were observed between the Municipal Emergency Committee and social networks except from the volunteers coordinator who had frequent access to them. On the other hand, links amongst emergent groups of neighbours and social networks were partial but existed in two ways: direct links when one or more members of a group used them, or indirect links, when one or more members knew someone who used them.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake


The overall objective of this research was to explore post-disaster community resilience by focusing on the roles: (1) of existing and new social capital, and (2) of the physical and natural environment in which community relations take place. The aim was to see how these factors influence the level of adaptative resilience at local level. San Pedro de la Paz in Chile was chosen for a case study exploring the emergency period following the earthquake of 27th February 2010. The research was undertaken employing a mixed methods approach which involved an online survey, interviews with key informants and a review of online media sources. Selected findings related to the research objectives have been presented and then discussed in the main chapters. This final chapter aims to summarise the main results and conclusions according to the research objectives. It also makes clear the limitations of this study and offers recommendations for further research.

Summary of findings and conclusions

Questioning what the literature says about looting during the aftermath of the disaster, the research revealed that, in San Pedro, the occurrence of looting was extremely important because it severely altered the places baseline resilience while, at the same time, triggering most of the collective behaviour observed after the earthquake. On the one hand, looting held San Pedro back from being able to return to normal as rapidly as should have been the case. On the other hand, it caused people to organise themselves, some of them in antisocial behaviour, but most in activities protecting people and goods from the threat of looters, and then sharing food and water and providing mutual emotional support. As a result, emergent groups appeared all over the place, and they were much more important than existing social organisations for enhancing adaptative resilience at community level. Different layers or kinds of community groups functioned during the emergency period, including groups of neighbours (and looters) at the neighbourhood level, volunteers at the communal level and groups in social networks which operated

Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

despite the difficulties caused by the failure of communications systems. These groups overlapped to some extent, and members with multiple connections were very important for acquiring and distributing information to the community. Preselj (2009) has stated that space is one of the key determinants of crisis emergence, development and management. It also influences the post-crisis recovery process (Preselj 2009:26). This was particularly true in this case because the postdisaster physical isolation of San Pedro brought out the relevance of the citys resilience, expressed in terms of the redundancy and robustness of its physical and natural environment. In addition, San Pedro urban fabric had an important role in the emergence of neighbours groups, which arose regardless of the socio-economic status of the inhabitants.

Research limitations and recommendations for further research

As mentioned in the methodology chapter, case study approach and the specific research objectives make results highly context-dependent. Consequently, the conclusions of this study are applicable to San Pedro de la Paz alone. Results obtained by different methods were fully consistent with each other, allowing the researcher to be confident that the results are representative of the post-disaster situation in the commune. Another limitation identified is the lack of research about the role that place has in post-disaster community resilience. However, Cutter et al (2008), in their model of community resilience, throw light on the issue, when considering the strong links observed in San Pedro between the places resources, the problems the community faced and peoples responses. As for the possibilities of further research, at least three lines have emerged from the conclusions: Firstly, there is a need to re-examine the occurrence of looting during the emergency period. This is not only for policy implications and finding ways to prevent or control antisocial behaviour in time; but more importantly, because such behaviour can


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

drastically modify the inherent resilience of place, and so exacerbate the problems that communities have to cope with during a disasters aftermath. Secondly, there could be more work about online social networks. Studies could focus on the links between different networks or sets of groups that operate in a place, and how they can be mutually beneficial in fostering community as well as institutional responses at a local level. And thirdly, the relation between emergent groups in the community and the physical structure of the neighbourhood, in particular the urban fabric, could be explored by applying the space syntax analysis framework which has proved to be useful in a broad range of urban studies. Finally, some policy recommendations can be drawn from the conclusions. The importance that emergent groups and leaders had after the earthquake suggest that preparedness for future disaster should consider these new arrivals rather than existing organisation structures which may not be appropriate for post-disaster responses. In addition, DRR strategies in the urban context should consider the neighbourhood as the base for the development and implementation of plans and protective measures. They should take into account the specific conditions regarding both the neighbours profile and the characteristics of place. Another possible recommendation is to promote plans to improve the knowledge people have of their commune its risks as well as the coping resources existing in the area. Considering that places can be isolated in a disaster and that aid from national level usually takes at least 72 hours to get there, cities should be able to tackle the problems caused by a disaster without external help during the first critical days. This practicality should therefore be considered in urban design and land use planning, so that the city naturally provides the resources needed for its community to survive. Key resources should be protected and access of the community to them guaranteed. If resources do not exist in a place, suitable conditions should be created in order to build more resilient and sustainable cities that can rapidly recover their functions after a disturbance while allowing their inhabitants to face the challenges a disaster may thrust on them in an effective manner.


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Sutton, J., L. Palen and (2008) Backchannels on the Front Lines: Emergent se of Social Media in the 2007 Southern California Wildfires, in F. Fiedrich and B. Van de Walle (eds.) Proceedings of the 5th International ISCRAM Conference, Washington DC.

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Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

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Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

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Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake



Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake


This research was clearly a challenge since it meant starting from scratch. The occurrence of the earthquake in Chile radically changed my first idea for a dissertation. However, although the topics (urban agriculture and community resilience) were very different from one another, they shared the same motivation: my interest in how to build more sustainable cities and the hope that the research findings could contribute in some way to that. My chosen topic, community resilience to disasters, fascinates me, and I am sure that it was very important in the research project for meeting the difficulties that arose not only in the academic arena but also in a personal context. In the end I am confident that the research has achieved its aims, although the process implied a series of trade-offs with myself. In the first place, I realised that the research methods employed, and specifically the questions asked in both the survey and the interviews, would extend the spatial focus of the research from one single neighbourhood to the commune as a whole. After that, when all the data was gathered, it become evident that it would be very difficult to meet the deadline if I tried to use all the information I had; so one important challenge was to keep focused on the research questions. (If I used all the data acquired I would be able to do two or three completely different dissertations.) Even so, one of the most difficult things, after an exhausting writing process, was to cut out the words over the limit. Another unforeseen difficulty arose from dual languages, because when I decided to do the research in Chile, I did not realise I would have do everything twice, in Spanish and in English, and this was very time-consuming. However, I like the idea of bridging gaps in research, though a few links have been pre-established in the literature of English- and Spanish- speaking authors. I wish I had enough pages to present all the interesting comments people shared with me about their experiences after the earthquake, their theories about what happened


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

and why, and some controversial issues that arose from peoples reactions and motivations but some of them were tangential to the research objectives, so I had to leave them out. Indeed, if I had to make one recommendation to other postgraduate students, I would unhesitatingly tell them to choose a topic they feel passionate about and to keep focused on that all the time.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake


a. Traffic to access the only functioning bridge b. Middle income neighbourhood, hill behind

c. Laguna Grande

d. Hill not used for evacuation (although it is safe)


San Pedro from Andalu, one of the sectors used for evacuation purposes

Source: a., b., c., photo by Claudia Gonzlez. d. and e., photo by Claudio Rozas


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake


Source Definition Bruneau et Ability of both physical and social systems to al (2003) withstand earthquake-generated forces and demands and to cope with earthquake impacts Also taken through situation assessment, rapid response, and by Tierney effective recovery strategies (p. 737) (2003) Main principles / components Properties of both physical and social systems (in p. 737-738), that could be associated to the four dimensions of community resilience: technical, organisational, social, and economic (TOSE): Robustness: Strength, or the ability of elements, systems, and other units of analysis to withstand a given level of stress or demand without suffering degradationor loss of function Redundancy: The extent to which elements, systems, or other units of analysis exist that are substitutable. Resourcefulness: The capacities to identify problems, establish priorities, and mobilise resources (material and human resources) to achieve a given goal. Rapidity: the capacity to meet priorities and achieve goals in a timely manner in order to contain losses and avoid future disruption. Those adaptative capacities involve resources that have dynamic properties: Robustness: resource strength and low possibility of deterioration Redundancy: resource are substitutable by others Rapidity: how quickly can be accessed and used, it comprises properties of rapidity and resourcefulness as mentioned in Bruneau et al (2003)

Norris et al a process linking a network of adaptive capacities (2008) to adaptation after a disturbance or adversity (). Community resilience emerges from four primary sets of adaptive capacitiesEconomic Development, Social Capital, Information and Communication, and Community Competence that together provide a strategy for disaster readiness. (Norris et al 2007:127) Godschalk (2003) A resilient city is a sustainable network of physical systems and human communities. Physical systems are the constructed and natural environmental components of the city (...) Human communities are the social and institutional components of the city. They include formal the formal and informal, stable and ad hoc human associations that operate in a urban area (p.137)

[Godschalk (2003:139) based on Comfort (1999), Foster (1999), Tierney (2002), Zimmerman (2001)]: Redundant: with a number of functionally similar components so that the entire systems does not fail when one component fails. Diverse: with a number of functionally different components in order to protect the system against various threats. Efficient: with a positive ratio of energy supplied to energy delivered by a dynamic system. Autonomous: with the capability to operate independently of outside control. Strong: with the power to resist attack or other outside force. Interdependent: with system components connected so that they support each other. Adaptable: with the capacity to learn from experience and the flexibility to change. Collaborative: with multiple opportunities and incentives for broad stakeholder participation.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

Source Ganor and Ben-Lavy (2003)

Main principles / components Communications: flows of information regarding community situation Cooperation: and the responsibilities on a local level Cohesion: the mutual support Coping: capability to take action Credibility: emergence of new leadership from roots of the community Credo: common vision of a better future Adger et al The capacity of linked social-ecological systems to In ecosystems: biodiversity, functional redundancy and spatial pattern. (2005) absorb recurrent disturbances such as hurricanes In social systems: governance and management frameworks as well as diversification in land use or floods so as to retain essential structures, patterns and livelihoods. processes, and feedbacks. Resilience reflects the For both systems: memory is relevant as it allows reorganisation of disturbed sites. degree to which a complex adaptive system is capable of self-organisation () and the degree to which the system can build capacity for learning and adaptation (p. 1036) Twigg Community resilience can be understood as: Governance: DRR framework and integration with other policies and plans; institutional (2007) Capacity to absorb stress or destructive forces capacities and structures; accountability and participation. through resistance or adaptation. Risk assessment: Hazards/risk; vulnerability, capacities and innovation. Capacity to manage, or maintain certain basic Knowledge and education: public awareness; knowledge and skills; information management functions and structures, during disastrous and sharing; education and training; cultures, attitudes and motivation. events. Risk management and vulnerability reduction: environmental management; health and well Capacity to recover or bounce back after an being, livelihoods; social and physical protection; financial instruments; planning regimes. event (p. 6) Disaster preparedness and response: organizational capacities and coordination; early warning systems; preparedness and contingency planning; emergency structure and infrastructure; emergency response and recovery; participation, voluntarism and accountability. Cutter et al Ability of a human system to respond and The authors propose a model to assess the baseline of community resilience which comprises a (2008a) recover. It includes those inherent series of indicators in four dimensions: conditions that allow the system to absorb Social vulnerability: demographic and socio economic characteristics of the community impacts and cope with the event, as well as post- Built environment and infrastructure: residential, commercial and industrial development, event adaptive processes that facilitate the ability lifelines [critical infrastructure], transportation infrastructure, and monuments and icons. of the system to reorganise, change, and learn Natural systems and exposure [to hazards]: indicators will vary according ecosystems involved, in response to the event (p.2) drawn from existent studies. Hazards mitigation and planning for resilience: disaster planning, zoning, information

Definition Ability of a community to stick together and help itself as a group, as well as the families and individuals in its midst (p.106)


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake


The next pages contain the English translation of the questionnaire uploaded to SurveyMonkey(r). The translation is followed by a copy of one completed survey downloaded from the online server in its original format, in Spanish.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake


As mentioned in the Methodology chapter, some questions included in the online questionnaire were also asked to interviewees. These are not repeated here but their numbers are listed below. The following pages, therefore, include those specific questions asked to key informants of the community and to interviewees from institutions and formal organisations. In addition, the Informed Consent form given to the interviewees and its corresponding translation are included at the end of this Appendix. a) Questions from the online questionnaire asked to key informants About you and the Earthquake: Questions 1 to 12. San Pedro de la Paz, Villa San Pedro and the Earthquake: Questions 19 to 24. Problems and the Community Responses to Face the Effects of the Earthquake: Questions 25 to 28. Formal Organisations, Social Networks and the Earthquake: Questions 31 to 35. Social Networks and Community Response: Questions 37, 39, 40, 47. Authorities, Civil society and Community: Questions 48 to 51.

b) Questions from the online questionnaire asked to members of institutions About you and the Earthquake: Question 6 and 12. San Pedro de la Paz, Villa San Pedro and the Earthquake: Questions 20, 22 to 24. Problems and the Community Responses to Face the Effects of the Earthquake: Question 25, asked about the commune and about Villa San Pedro in particular. Social Networks and Community Response: Question 39, 47. Authorities, Civil society and Community: Questions 48 to 50.

Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake


Translated transcription extract
Claudia: What was your experience of the earthquake? Who was with you here? Barman: Besides me, there were two waitresses, three cooks and my boss. My boss was sitting at the cash desk, and she called me to see the payments of that day. It was shaking, and I said, "Stay calm; its a tremor, nothing else;" and then all the ground began to move. And I grabbed a waitress and the waitress grabbed the other, and we were all under the door. Suddenly, we started hearing the glasses breaking, falling bottles; all the glass breaking. And the power went out. The light stayed on about 30 seconds. And then the power went off and I devoted myself 100% to calming them down; and I told them, "Calm down, itll finish soon," ... and concentrated just on keeping them calm. And then, between those mental gaps I was having - because I couldnt think straight at the time - I realised we were next to the window in there [he points to the window+; and if it crashed, we were screwed. Then I said to them: "Lets move away because the window is right next to us." And I was super-calm. And then suddenly I had to shout at them: "Shut up!" I said, "OK? Be calm, because nothing is going to happen. Follow me out." And we started walking. After that, our bar was looted. The problem was that, as the power went off and the entry gates are electric, we couldnt leave. The escape route was this, and with that iron railing, and there was also the husband of one of the cooks. And all together the earthquake and the husband, who looked like a monkey trying to enter and open The door was locked and we couldnt get out. The beam was locked. It took me about 20 minutes trying to open the gate until I opened it using a sledge-hammer. Then we got out. And my boss took her things, and, as her parents live near here and they were alone in a building, she left. And I stayed there with everyone. I was there with two waitresses, one of whom is my cousin, and the other waitress and a cook. The other cook lived near here, and the other went off with her husband.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

During the earthquake I called my mom, I told her not to worry, and I would go there, because I live about two blocks from here. She told me, "You stay there, I'm going to pick you up." All in all there was traffic already; people were going mad. We had to stick close to the wall, because the others were so crazy they were driving on the pavement and didnt care that there were people they might run over. And my mom came and we all got in the car. We were not here when the place was looted. Thank God I had already installed the shutters. I put iron shutters up to cover each window. And I managed to put them on before going. Then we went. And I had moved last year to the apartment where I live now, cos I lived with my grandparents before. My grandparents live near the police station, about 1 km from here. The thing is that, after leaving here I went to see my grandparents because they were alone. Less than an hour after the earthquake had happened. I never despaired or lost my temper, but I think I didnt appreciate what was happening. I actually looked and couldnt believe it. It was like on TV. And then I came to the house of my grandparents and I was, like, put out a bit. There, when you enter my grandparents house, the first thing you see is a picture of my greatgrandparents at the bar, a big piece of furniture and the dining room. The bar was cut in half, the picture broken and everywhere was in a mess. I was worried because the door was open. And they werent out. Since people were already getting crazy, I thought, "Someone has entered the house, and then I got hysterical. I went up, I entered the room and my grandparents were in pyjamas and under the bed, scared. And then we went off, grabbed my grandparents car and we left. We tried to go to Andalu but it was too full there, so we went to Idahue, which is in the way to Santa Juana. We got there, but before that we went to my aunt, who lives near the Verluis, all here in San Pedro, and she didnt want to move from the house because she said there wouldnt be a tsunami.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

We persuaded her to evacuate because I wasnt sure if there would be or not, but at least she should accompany the family. Cos the whole family was together, just in case. And we succeeded in convincing her. So we left. Claudia: So you already knew that you could go to Andalu or Idahue? Barman: Yes... Could you stop recording for a while? I have to bring these drinks to that table. [Brief interruption] Barman: Well, then... I think it was the third or fourth day. By the way, my house looked like a hostel. There were friends of my mom, my friends (Not my grandparents house. I still call it home, because I am so used to it.) At the house, there were more or less 20 people friends who had lost their house or whose parents went somewhere else. They brought food, things like that. There were a lot of us, but we didnt lack food. Claudia: And water, where did you get that from? Barman: My grandparents had it stored. When I was little, I annoyed my grandfather, because I used to tell him, "Dad, why?" ... Each week he filled a giant pot with water and kept it. "Dad, why do you go to all that trouble?" ... it was the earthquakes of 1960 and of 1985. I think it was the third or fourth day, I was in the car and there was a super-strong aftershock, but I didnt feel it. I got home and I was with my girlfriend, my grandmother and my mother. I didnt understand what had happened: everyone was crazy. A lady who was with her child was from Los Huertos. There was a rumour that there would be a tsunami and she left her home alone, all open. The lady told me that she left the car with the keys in it, and she ran off, evacuating on foot, all because of a false alarm. Claudia: Do you think this time was different from past earthquakes? Barman: I'm going to answer just for me, because compared with other times I dont know, because I havent experienced an earthquake before. I think [the authorities] responded late. There was no water: water only got to us on the third


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

day, when the firemen at last got their skates on and started to distribute water by using a pool. People in general had no water.

Original interview transcription extract, in Spanish

Claudia: Cmo fue tu experiencia del terremoto, con quin estabas ac? Barman: Haba adems de mi, dos meseras, tres cocineras y mi jefa. Mi jefa estaba sentada en la caja y mi jefa me llam para ver tema de pagos. Estaba temblando y yo le dije qudate tranquila si es un temblor no ms y luego se empez a mover toda la tierra. Y agarr a una mesera y esa agarr a la otra mesera y nos quedamos todos debajo de la puerta. De repente se empezaron a escuchar los vasos quebrarse, las botellas caerse, toda la quebrazn de vidrios. Y en eso se corta la luz. La luz dur como 30 segundos prendida. Y en eso se corta y me dediqu 100% a calmarlas y les deca, ya tranquilas que ya va a pasar y me dediqu a puro calmarlas. Y despus entre esas lagunas que tena en el momento, porque en el momento no pens en casi nada coherente, me di cuenta que estbamos al lado del ventanal de ah [seal la ventana] y si se revienta estamos jodidos. Entonces les dije caminemos porque est la ventana al lado de nosotros. Y sper calmado. Y de repente como que les grit cllense, les dije, ya, tranquilas que no va a pasar nada, sganme para afuera y empezamos a caminar. Despus en este bar a nosotros nos saquearon. El problema es que como se cort la luz, los portones de la entrada son elctricos, entonces no podamos salir, la va de escape era sta, y con esa reja de fierro, y haba el esposo de una de las cocineras. Y entre el terremoto y el esposo, que pareca mono tratando de entrar y abrir la puerta que estaba con candado, no podamos salir, se trab la viga. Me demor como 20 minutos en tratar de abrir la reja hasta que la abr con combo. Entonces salimos, y mi jefa pesc sus cosas y sus paps viven por ah cerca y que estaban solos en un edificio y parti. Y yo me qued con todos. Me qued con dos meseras, de las cuales 1 es mi prima y con la otra mesera y una cocinera. La otra cocinera viva ac al lado y la otra se fue con el marido.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

Como en el medio del terremoto yo llam a mi mam, le dije que se quedara tranquila y que yo iba para all. Porque yo vivo como a 2 cuadras de aqu. Ella me dijo: qudate t ah, que te voy a ir a buscar. Dentro de todo ya haba taco, la gente estaba vuelta loca. Nosotros nos tenamos que apegar a la pared, porque los otros estaban tan locos que pasaban por arriba de la vereda y no les importaba que hubiera gente y la atropellaran. Y lleg mi vieja y nos subimos todos al auto. No estuvimos ac cuando saquearon. Gracias a Dios yo ya haba puesto las protecciones. Yo pongo protecciones de fierro con lata en cada ventana. Y las alcanc a poner. Despus nos fuimos y yo me cambi el ao pasado al departamento donde vivo ahora y antes viva con mis abuelos. Mis abuelos viven cerca de la comisara, como a 1 km de aqu. La cosa es que despus fui a ver a mis abuelos cuando estaban solos. Antes que se cumpliera la hora. Yo en ningn momento me desesper ni perd la calma, pero como que no asuma en realidad. Yo miraba en realidad y no lo poda creer, era como la tele. Y en eso llego a la casa de mis viejos y ah como que me anduve achacando un poco. All cuando uno entra lo primero que ve es un cuadro de mis bisabuelos, en el bar un mueble gigante y el comedor. El bar estaba cortado por la mitad. El cuadro quebrado y la embarrada por todos lados. Yo me preocup porque la puerta estaba abierta. Y ellos no estaban afuera. Como la gente estaba ya loca, yo pens alguien entr a la casa y ah me puse histrico. Yo sub, entr a la pieza y estaban mis abuelos con pijama y debajo de la cama con mucho miedo. Y ah partimos, agarramos el auto de mis abuelos y nos fuimos. Intentamos subir a Andalu pero estaba demasiado lleno, as que partimos a Idahue, que queda camino a Santa Juana. Llegamos all, antes fuimos a buscar a mi ta, que vive cerca del Verluis, todos ac en San Pedro y no se quera mover de la casa porque dijo que no iba a haber tsunami.


Exploring Community Resilience: The social-urban aftermath of the Biobo Earthquake

La convencimos de arrancar porque yo no estaba seguro de si iba a haber o no, pero por lo menos para acompaar a la familia. Para que toda la familia estuviera junta en caso de. Y la logramos convencer y nos fuimos. Claudia: O sea, t sabas que podas ir a Andalu o a Idahue? Barman: S Se puede parar un poquito la grabacin? Tengo que entregar unos tragos a esa mesa. Barman: Bueno, entonces Creo que fue el tercer o cuarto da, a todo esto mi casa pareca pensin, estaban amigos de mi mam, amigos mos, no, en la casa de mis abuelos, yo le digo casa todava porque es la costumbre. En la casa haba ms o menos unas 20 personas. Amigos que la casa se les cay, que los paps andaban en otros lados. Ellos aportaban con comida, cosas as. ramos hartos, pero no nos faltaba. Claudia: Y agua, de dnde sacaban? Barman: Mis abuelos tenan guardada. Yo cuando era chico molestaba a mi abuelo porque le deca pap, por qu todas las semanas llenaba un tarro gigante con agua y la guardaba. pap, pa qu te das el trabajo de era el terremoto del 60 y del 85. Creo que fue el tercer o cuarto da que yo iba en el auto y hubo una rplica sper fuerte, pero yo no la sent, yo llego a la casa y estaba con mi polola, mi abuela y mi mam, yo no entenda que haba pasado, toda la gente estaba loca. A una seora que andaba con el hijo, de los Huertos, le lleg el comentario que iba a haber tsunami, dej la casa sola, abierta. La seora me contaba que dej el auto solo con las llaves puestas y sali arrancando a pie, con una falsa alarma. Claudia: Qu crees que fue diferente esta vez respecto de temblores pasados? Barman: Yo te voy a responder por mi lado, porque en comparacin con otras veces no s porque no haba vivido un terremoto. Creo que respondi sper tarde. Agua no haba, agua lleg como el tercer da, que los bomberos se pusieron las pilas y pusieron una piscina. La gente no tena agua en general.