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Chile: Aid Supplies Distributed in Wake of Massive Quake

A World Vision emergency team has delivered initial relief supplies to affected families. Meanwhile, Child-Friendly Spaces are scheduled to open this week.

Updated November 19, 2007


Please note: If a sponsored child is directly affected by a crisis or disaster, it is World Vision's policy to notify that child's sponsor as soon as possible.


This boy sits next to a pile of rubble created by a 7.7-magnitude earthquake that struck northern Chile on Nov. 14. The initial tremor was followed by several significant aftershocks; two people are reported dead and at least 150 are injured. © 2007 World Vision staff
A powerful earthquake, measuring 7.7 on the Richter Scale, struck northern Chile on Nov. 14, followed by several days of strong aftershocks. The epicenter was in a sparsely populated mining area 780 miles north of Chile's capital, Santiago. The quake left two dead, 150 injured, and at least 15,000 homeless.

World Vision's Initial Response


"The affected area in the north has no electricity; cell phones and landlines are out," Paula Saez, a World Vision staff member in Chile, reported on Nov. 15. "People ... are frantically trying to get in touch with their families in the north."

One day after the quake, World Vision was able to send 50 tents in a Chilean military airplane to Antofagasta, a city in the affected region about 700 miles north of the capital. This week, we also plan to send 50 additional tents, 400 blankets, and water from Antofagasta to hard-hit Tocopilla.

On Nov. 19, our staff in Chile will open several Child-Friendly Spaces, where disaster-affected children can go to interact with others in a safe place and participate in recreational activities. Psychological support will also be available for children who need it. Our staff expects to assist nearly 200 children at these centers in the next several months.

Assessing the Damage

Early reports from the team indicate the quake destroyed 60 percent of houses in the mining town of Maria Elena, whose population is about 10,000. Located in the desert, about half of the people are sleeping outside their collapsed or damaged homes, building fires to stay warm during the cold nights. Residents are without food, clean water, or electricity.

The port city of Tocopilla has 24,000 inhabitants, and World Vision confirms that about 80 percent of houses there are damaged or destroyed. There is no running water, no electricity, and the supermarkets are closed, so there is limited access to food. Some private merchants are baking and selling small amounts of bread. Families stand in long lines to purchase it.

Please join us in prayer for those who have lost everything in the earthquake and for the staff members who are doing their utmost to help in this time of need.

World Vision has no sponsorship projects in the area affected by the disaster. However, we have one "seed project" — work we do prior to beginning formal sponsorship in a community — that has been relocated to Tocopilla to help meet the needs of those hit hardest by the quake. We also plan to help 200 families rebuild their damaged or destroyed houses.

World Vision began a child sponsorship program in Chile in 1961. We have 43,060 sponsored children in this South American nation; our U.S. donors support 9,605 of them. World Vision focuses on economic development and child well-being in Chile — a broad category that includes education and health.


Learn More


>> Read a CNN article about the quake.

Two Ways You Can Help

>> Pray for the families and children affected by the massive quake, particularly families and children who may need urgent help. Pray also for the safety of aid workers rushing to the quake zone to provide assistance as needed.
>> Donate now to World Vision's Disaster Response Fund. Your donation will help us quickly respond to sudden-onset disasters around the world.

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Learn More

Read a CNN article about the quake.

Two Ways You Can Help

Pray for the families and children affected by the massive quake, particularly families and children who may need urgent help. Pray also for the safety of aid workers rushing to the quake zone to provide assistance as needed.
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Donate now to World Vision's Disaster Response Fund. Your donation will help us quickly respond to sudden-onset disasters around the world.

 





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