Locals have mixed luck reaching loved ones in Chile

Brian Hiatt-Aleu was supposed to be in Chile when the earthquake hit yesterday.

The Coronado High School boys varsity soccer coach, who moved to San Diego in 1989, had plans to visit his family last week, but after the Islanders qualified for a playoff game, he stayed to coach the team.

“I heard that everything fell off the shelves, even artwork fell off the walls,” he said. “It’s scary. But earthquakes happen quite a bit in Chile, so they’re strict with building codes like they are in California.”

Though Hiatt-Aleu escaped the disaster, he hasn’t heard from his family in Santiago, Valparaiso and Concepcion, cities near the epicenter.

“Everybody is there,” he said. “My aunts, uncles and cousins. My mom’s the only one who lives in San Diego. I haven’t been able to get a hold of anybody. I can’t get through on the phone and no one has responded to my e-mails.”

Read the entire Union Tribune article here.


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