"We are anxious but calm."
That's the word from the miners, according to Alejandro Pino, regional manager of the Chilean Safety Association, as an expected rescue attempt is set to get under way Tuesday night at the San José mine site in northern Chile.
At Camp Hope, where relatives and friends await the miners' rescue, the mood is much the same: anxious but calm. Construction and drilling noise provides a constant background as final preparations are made to the rescue platform, and the so-called Plan C operation continues the drill as a contingency.
There are small signs of hope and excitement – colorful pinwheels top Chilean flags marking the overlook above the camp.
Those family members who remain in public areas talk on cell phones and make the rounds, greeting each other with reassuring words.
Others have retreated to a separate part of the camp, where families can seek refuge from the extensive global media presence while they wait for the rescue attempts to begin.
In nearby Copiapó, screens are being set up to broadcast a live government feed of the rescue operation, with people expected to gather in the city center Tuesday evening.