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           21 January, 2021


    
Category:  Press » Politics & Government

 

World Vision Assessing Damages, Preparing to Respond to Chile Earthquake

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2010-02-28 05:36:25     
World Vision

World Vision is preparing to respond to the massive 8.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Chile, working with its regional offices to transport emergency relief supplies and getting ready to send more staff to support the relief response.

The Christian relief and development organization's first relief flight, in coordination with the Bolivian air force, is tentatively planned to depart for Chile later today - with relief supplies like tarps, blankets, plastic sheeting, and collapsible water containers for survivors. Airport closures in Chile are forcing delays in the plane's departure.

"It happened in the middle of the night. Everyone was sleeping, and there was no time to escape. Many houses are destroyed; even large buildings have collapsed," said Mariela Chavarriga, Emergency Advisor with World Vision in Chile. "Main roads have been destroyed and communication is very difficult. We are trying to connect with our regional offices but all the phone lines are down."

World Vision has worked in Chile for 30 years and has more than 100 staff in the country, many living and working in areas close to the quake epicenter. The aid group has worked extensively in the south of Concepcion, the city that has been hardest hit by the earthquake, as well as in the capital of Santiago.

"This quake will not be like the one in Haiti," said Steve Matthews of World Vision's global rapid response team. Matthews and other top relief experts are coordinating early plans for World Vision's response in Chile from Haiti and the Dominican Republic, where the aid group continues to respond to the massive quake in Haiti last month.

"Haiti was concentrated and that led to the challenge of tons of aid and hundreds of aid workers being sent into a small zone. This quake off the Chilean coast has potential to reach remote areas and thus it will be extremely difficult to assess the number of deaths and amount of damage, but we can expect that children and families will have taken the brunt of it. World Vision has the experience to know what survivors will need in the opening moments. Blankets, tarps, plastic sheeting and clean water will be the priorities," Matthews continued.

World Vision is also concerned about the possible tsunami that is reportedly heading for the region and as far as Asia as a result of Chile's quakes. The agency's disaster response teams are contacting offices across the region to alert them for the possibility of a major tsunami.

Chile is prone to large earthquakes. After the 7.7 quake in northern Chile in November 2007, World Vision was one of the first responders in the area and set up a Child-Friendly Space -- a safe and secure place for children to recover from their trauma -- to serve the needs of the quake's youngest survivors.

Since 1980, World Vision Chile has been implementing development projects reaching about 100,000 children and adults within the country's poorest, most marginalized communities, including a focus on education and microfinance opportunities for poor entrepreneurs.

The public can help by visiting http://www.worldvision.org or calling 1.888.56.CHILD.

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.

Specialized in: Sponsor A Child - Child Sponsorship - World Vision - Support A Child - Sponsor Children - Charitable Donations - Donate To Charity - Children In Need - Aids In Africa - Children In Poverty - Relief Organization - Disaster Relief
URL: http://www.worldvision.org
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