Earthquake from Above

The little village, perched on the lip of a river gorge, was a bright little place with a steepled church and red-roofed houses. Because such surrounding peaks as snowcapped Karwarasu act as sounding boards for the hot springs that gurgle intermittently in the neighborhood, the Incas had named the village Sondondo—"the place that beats like a heart."

One day last week, Sondondo's beat was lost in a steady roar. After days of steady downpour, the river had flooded the gorge. Said Sondondinos, peering up at the lowering sky: "Apu Karwarasu is mad."


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