Magnitude 8.8 Quake Strikes Chile; ADRA Responds
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John Torres, Senior Public Relations Manager
SILVER SPRING, Md. —Early Saturday, a powerful 8.8-magnitude earthquake shook south-central Chile killing at least 120, damaging infrastructure, and triggering a tsunami. The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is assessing the needs in the worst hit areas and coordinating with authorities, the agency reported.
“Our staff in Chile are already in the affected areas to see first hand the extent of the earthquake damage and identify the communities that are worst hit,” said Mario Ochoa, Executive Vice President for ADRA International. “A quake of this magnitude can have a devastating impact in a wide area.”
ADRA is currently conducting an extensive assessment in the region, including in the southern cities of Talca, Temuco and Concepción, in preparation for an initial response worth at least $105,000. Funders include ADRA International, the South American Regional office, the Adventist Church in Chile, and ADRA Canada. As part of this initial emergency response, ADRA expects to provide jerry cans, tents, mattresses, and blankets. Canada-based Global Medic, which will be in Chile within 24 hours, is partnering with ADRA to set up water purification points.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the quake struck 56 miles (90 km) northeast of the city of Concepción at a depth of 22 miles (35 km) at 3:34 am local time (1:34 am EST / 6:34 GMT) affecting seven regions in Chile, including of Valparaíso, Metropolitan, O’Higgins, Maule, Bíobío, Araucanía, and Los Ríos. The seism could be felt as far as Argentina. Since the quake, USGS has reported more than 30 aftershocks above magnitude 5.0, many happening minutes from each other. Numerous tsunami waves have been reported in the Pacific, with one reaching as high as 7.7 feet in the central Chile coastal town of Talcahuano.
The capital Santiago, located 200 miles (320 km) north of the epicenter, was hit hard, destroying infrastructure and downing power and telephone lines, media reports said. Authorities closed the city’s international airport as the quake destroyed passenger walkways and caused other damage to the terminal.
ADRA is a non-governmental organization present in 125 countries providing sustainable community development and disaster relief without regard to political or religious association, age, gender, race or ethnicity.
For more information about ADRA, visit www.adra.org.
Author: Hearly Mayr