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Chile is one of only two South American countries that do not share a border with Brazil (Ecuador is the other), but in some parts of the country the quake caused middle-of-the-night tremors that did wake Brazilians. No damage or injuries were reported, although Sao Paulo's fire department did receive about 100 calls from residents worried because their buildings started shaking at around 3:45 a.m. Saturday morning.
One worker at TV Globo's studios on Avenida Paulista, the source of many of those calls, captured the moment on his cell phone video. That produced what had to be just about the most boring TV clip in the history of earthquake coverage: a grainy shot of a few studio lights shaking nearly imperceptibly (see it here, if you really have nothing better to do).
News reports also told of tremors being felt on high floors of apartment buildings in Sao Jose dos Campos, and in the southern Brazilian state of Parana. But in the state geographically closest to the epicenter, Rio Grande do Sul, there were no reports of tremors, at least as reported in southern Brazil's primary newspaper, Zero Hora. The paper focused on interviews with the many Gauchos, as Brazilians from that state are known, who live in Chile.
With flights to Santiago cancelled yesterday, a Brazilian air force jet took two Chilean officials -- the Justice Minister and the Attorney General -- back to Santiago. They had been attending a conference here. The plane returned early this morning with twelve Brazilian citizens who were living in Santaigo. None was hurt. TV Globo reported that about 12,000 Brazilians live in Chile, and also did not have reports of any injuries.
But overall, this was just another foreign news story. Folha de Sao Paulo (left), the country's highest circulation paper, didn't even have it as the top story today (though Estado de Sao Paulo, right, did). The earthquake in Haiti drew much more immediate coverage, not just because of the more severe destruction but because of Brazil's leadership role in the United Nations forces there.