London, Aug 31 (ANI): The 33 trapped Chilean miners have spoken to their family members for the first time on telephone. They spoke for 30 seconds each.
The brief telephone conversations brought at least some reassurance that the miners are in a sufficiently robust state of mind to survive for the next three months, The Guardian reports.
Family members reportedly received the first of what are intended to be daily phone calls in a cabin set up alongside one of the three boreholes now connecting the miners with the surface.
"I could hear him fine. He is aware that the rescue is not going to happen today, that it will take some time. He asked us to stay calm, as everything is going to be OK," said Jessica Cortes, who spoke to her husband Victor Zamora.
Portions of the conversations were reportedly made public, including the promise by miner Esteban Rojas that he would marry his girlfriend of 25 years upon his rescue from the collapsed tunnel.
"The families listened with great interest, and they both felt and realised that the men are well. This has been a very important moment, which no doubt strengthens their the miners' morale," Ximena Matas, the Governor of Chile's Atacama region said.
The engineers at the mine in Chile's Atacama Desert are looking forward to beginning the drilling process on the main rescue shaft.
Chile Mining Minister, Laurence Golborne, said that rescuing the miners would take an estimated three to four months.
"The relief workers are studying 10 separate rescue options, but that "nothing has yet been found that will be quicker," Golborne added. (ANI)