Richard Stallman, founder of GNU Project confirmed safe after earthquake

Friday, August 17, 2007

Wikinews has learned that Richard Stallman, the founder of the GNU Project, is confirmed to be safe in Peru after a massive 8.0 earthquake struck the country on August 15. It was earlier reported that he may have been missing.

According to e-mails and forum posts obtained by Wikinews, Stallman was traveling from Lima to Chimbote with a man named Mario Ramos on August 15, when the quake struck and was expected to arrive in Chimbote on Monday August 20. He later arrived in Trujillo, Peru where he ‘checked-in.’

“Richard Stallman is now in Trujillo, this I confirm it and tomorrow he will be [at the] conference,” said Edward Vega Gavidia in an e-mail obtained by Wikinews.

The possibility of Stallman missing was first announced at approximately 6:43 p.m. (eastern time) when a user by the name of RichiH posted a ‘wallop’ to users on the Freenode IRC network stating “hi all. As you will surely have heard, there was a major earthquake in Peru. It seems Richard ‘RMS’ Stallmann [sic] was traveling from Lima to Chimbote with Mario Ramos on August 15th and no one has heard from him since.”

Wikinews contacted the GNU Project and Stallman by e-mail, and Stallman confirmed that he is indeed safe.

“I was in Lima, where there was little damage. I was at the Universidad Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, in the office of COSOLIG, the university’s free software group. When the building started to shake, I realized it was an earthquake, and also that it wasn’t strong enough to be dangerous. The other people were much more worried, and urged me to go outside with them, so I did. The shaking continued for surprisingly long, but there was no damage,” said Stallman in an e-mail to Wikinews.

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