Sunday, November 4, 2012
CITY OF CHAITEN
The Chaiten volcano erupted in 2008, supposedly the first time in 9,000 years. All residents of the city were evacuated including church members and 2 missionaries of a small branch there. There were no deaths from the eruption. There was one casualty from a heart attack while on the boat leaving Chaiten. The residents went to Puerto Montt and the island of Chiloe, but most were anxious to return. The government had plans to relocate the city, but was unsuccessful because the residents did not want the city moved. The residents wanted to return to their homes (whether still standing or not) and live there in Chaiten. Many returned before services of electricity and running water were available. A couple of the members we spoke with said that when they returned, they were without power and water for 1-2 YEARS, yet they stayed to help rebuild the city that they loved. We went there with the assistants and Elder & Sis. Goodman to meet with the members that had returned, and see if things were ok to send missionaries again and re-open the branch. The members were excited with the possibility of holding meetings again and having missionaries return. Chaiten is a 12 hour ferry ride from Puerto Montt or you can drive to the end of the island of Chiloe and take about a 6 hour ferry from Quellon to Chaiten. Members who left after the eruption, are slowly returning.