earthquake chile BANNERAgo Just two years ago I met a Chilean delegation from the Maule region led by my friend Alex Gutiérrez from the Codema business consultancy (< /a>). The purpose of the visit to the Basque Country and Galicia was to learn about welding, cutting and joining technologies and, in general, the R&D and innovation system in these two countries. The businessmen who visited the region managed boiler shops, repair service companies and manufacturing of metal parts, manufacturing of machines, parts and pieces for the forestry, fishing and shipyard industries; all of them located in the Maule region.

The Maule region is one of the 15 regions of Chile with around 1 million inhabitants. The capital is Talca with about 212,000 inhabitants, the administrative, economic and cultural center of the region, it is located in an equidistant position between the two most important agglomerations: Concepción and Santiago de Chile.

Unfortunately, it is precisely this region where the epicenter of the fourth strongest earthquake in history occurred with a magnitude of 8.8 points on the Richter scale, at least 50 times stronger than the earthquake that hit Haiti. Therefore, it is not surprising that El Maule was the region most affected by the earthquake and where 186 of the already 300 people confirmed to date died.

The old town, which was built by a select aristocracy of old Castilian-Basque and Italian families, was 25% destroyed during the two minutes that the earthquake lasted.

And it is not the first time that Talca has been the center of an earthquake. Already in 1928 it was completely destroyed: And then as today, it has the misfortune of coinciding with a great economic depression, as well as being overshadowed by the tragedy in Haiti.

Although there has been a cooperation agreement between the Maule region and the Basque Country since 1984, it has had little action in the last year. This is especially worrying since it only has agreements with La Bourgon (France) and a Chinese province. That is why the small actions of all of us are important to unite efforts that can alleviate to some extent the effects of this unfortunate event. Every businessman, ordinary person who can and wants to help, can contact Alex Gutierrez and Pablo Castiglione, in charge of internationalization of the Government of Maule.

Alex Gutiérrez M. 4 1/2 Poniente C Nº 237. V. San Agustín- Talca – Chile Phones: 56-71-683943 and 07-7498639 W:, E:

Pablo Castiglione, Head of Internationalization of the Maule Government:

More information from regional newspapers:

Talca: Curicó: www.diariolaprensa .cl