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On february, 27th of 2010 at 3:34 AM local time (06:34 UTC), Chile was affected by a devastating earthquake of magnitude 8.8 Richter, 60 miles NW of Chillán.
A tsunami and many aftershocks followed it, causing even more devastation than the strongest one. Many pics that showed the disaster were published on boston.com/bigpicture, one of them was the famous photo.
Bruno Sandoval, who is from Talca and traveled to Pelluhue in December, the day before the earthquake Sandoval traveled to Laja to do some paperwork and went home after the earthquake, then he looked for the cabin where they lived, but he did not find it, (The Tsunami destroyed it), then he looked for any trace of their belongings and he found the flag and lifted it. It was then when the photographer Roberto Candia, chief correspondent from the Associated Press in Santiago, captured this image:
After a couple of days,when electricity and internet got back to houses after the quake and this picture made known, it was posted on chilean blog www.loserpower.com an entry with many photoshopped images of this man, in another circumstances, and so on, always with the name “The chilean who survived X”:
The Chilean who survived Nublar island
The Chilean who survived a Tsunami on New York
The Chilean who survived bullfighting
The exploitable image
Interview With Bruno Sandoval (Spanish)
Bruno Sandoval is “Imitated”
Interview With Sandoval in English
All the pictures on a Picasa photo album are available here
This phenomenon was noted by various national newspapers, and the flag bearer became famous:
ABC News Article
ABC News Video
Now that flag was washed and restored, and it will go to South Africa with the national football selection, supporting the players.
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