I have a son who runs a restaurant in Southern Colombia, near the border with Ecuador, so when I saw a headline about an earthquake of 6.4 near the border, I googled.

No luck. Most of the articles mentioned the earthquake in Northern Chile, and an earthquake in Ecuador south of Quito, near the Peruvian border.

Finally, I checked the IRIS site  (click and look at their cool interactive map!) and found two earthquakes: and has the one furthur north near the Colombia border…the areas are very rural and isolated villages in valleys, so no bad reports yet…

You can tell the US press has it’s heart in the right place when Quinto playing Spock gets more headlines than two major South American earthquakes, a 6.7 near Peru and a 6.3 near the Colombian border.

Early reports ay there was no damage, but even a 6.3 earthquake can cause adobe buildings to collapse if they are not reinforced with steel rods to prevent them from falling down when shaken by mother earth. Indeed, that is why even moderate third world earthquakes often have a high mortality.

Here in the Philippines, poor houses are often made of wood or bamboo, and you can chart prosperity by checking “modern” concrete houses. Yet the rule to reinforce concrete hollow blocks with steel rods is followed, perhaps because moderate earthquakes are not rare in our area.

What was interesting is that many overseas papers had links on Google about the earthquake, probably because if you live in Makati or Mumbai you might want to know about it, but few US papers had direct links (only AP and Bloomberg).

However, when I googled “Quinto”, I did find 42 references to an actor of that name getting the role of Spock in the next Startrek movie.

What’s wrong with this picture?

But then, when most of the newspapers report on the Democratic debates by discussing if Hillary or Obama won more points rather than discussing the issues, I guess America gets the press it deserves.


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket 

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