Earthquake in the Coffee Region: 24 years have passed since the earthquake that paralyzed Quindío
The governor of the department, Roberto Jairo Jaramillo Cárdenas, highlighted the gratitude that this population has for all the people who contributed to the reconstruction of the region and helped in emergency care
Thousands of homes were destroyed after the earthquake in the Eje Cafetero. ARCHIVE-COLPRENSA-EL COLOMBIANO
Twenty-four years are commemorated after the tragic earthquake that shook the department of Quindío, and amidst stories and anecdotes, the survivors remember what happened. Although more than two decades have passed, the wounds are still latent and the voices of gratitude continue to be replicated.
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In dialogue with Infobae, Roberto Jairo Jaramillo Cárdenas, governor of the department of Quindío , sent a message of thanks to the entire country and each of the people who supported the region on that date. According to Jaramillo, he was one of the victims of this natural phenomenon, a situation that led him to also be a beneficiary.
“On behalf of all Quindianos, I want to thank all the people who supported us; I was a beneficiary at the time, my apartment was destroyed, I was left without a job and I was one of the beneficiaries of so many aids that at the time came to the department of Quindío,” said the president.
According to what Jaramillo exposed, the gestures of solidarity after the earthquake became attitudes of gratitude that are still evident.
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“We are a department that is grateful to all those who supported us, and that is why I believe that when someone comes to visit us in the department of Quindío, it is part of the response to always welcome them with open arms, with a good coffee, with a good drink. hug, with a warm greeting, always marked by gratitude”, he asserted and extended the invitation to anyone who wants to arrive in the territory.
“Quindío who comes from Who, which means earth and Dio which means God, this is a thriving land, a land of hard-working men, as our hymn of pioneers, muleteers and the sun says,” said the departmental president.
Governor Jaramillo explained to Infobaethat the earthquake was a test, since this situation urged the Quindians to forge spirit and face adversity with resilience. Although this date is still remembered, the pain persists and only highlights the hope of moving forward in the midst of all the problems that still plague the Coffee Region.
“It is a very important date for Quindianos, which all of us who lived that experience remember, which at the time was very painful, where many lives were lost, many families were destroyed, but that is where the wood from which it is made comes from. the people of Quindío. I believe that this situation that we experienced 24 years ago, not pleasantly remembered for Quindianos, also served as a platform to raise more and show what wood we were made of.”
The day that Quindío was paralyzed
On January 25, 1999, around 1:19 p.m. m., inhabitants of the Coffee Region waited for lunch or shared it with their families. One afternoon, with a mild temperature, the sky revealed what would be the next rains for the capital of Quindío, but after a few minutes, the earth roared and both Armenia and the surrounding cities felt the power of nature.
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An earthquake of magnitude 6.2 on the Richter scale shook one of the most important cities of the Coffee Axis. The small houses vibrated until their structure he couldn't take it anymore. The journalists mobilized to the place of the news in the midst of difficult access to the streets and the bleak panorama.
The pain of the tragedy increased as the number of victims became known. 1,125 deaths and thousands injured were left behind by this earthquake. The most alarming figure was directly related to the total state of the city's infrastructure, since 75% of it was destroyed between iron bars and demolished walls.
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About 5 in the afternoon, a strong aftershock arrived, which ended up collapsing several buildings, including the Quindío departmental assembly building. Hundreds of wounded, who were still waiting for their rescue among the remains of the buildings, succumbed to this new movement, which even killed some people who took advantage of the situation to loot some buildings and trade centers.
< p class="paragraph">The then President Andrés Pastrana traveled to the city and made a helicopter overflight to record the serious effects suffered by the city. El Edén international airport became the area of operations where they would deploy all the logistics to ground zero, which was practically the entire city of Armenia.