February 27, 2010 – MSNBC
Aftershocks of the Chile Earthquake
Local radio reported up to 150 could have been killed or hurt in a collapsed 14-story building in the hard-hit Concepcion, where firemen were working to put out fires throughout the city. One fire was in the science department in the local university. At least 23 aftershocks were reported, including one registering at 6.9 on the Richter scale. TV Chile reported that a 15-story building collapsed in Concepcion, where buildings caught fire, bridges collapsed and cracks opened up in the streets. Cars turned upside down lay scattered on one damaged highway bridge. The town’s historic center, filled with buildings of adobe mud and straw, largely collapsed, though most of those were businesses that were not inhabited when the quake struck. Neighbors pulled at least five people from the rubble while emergency workers, themselves disoriented, asked for information from reporters. Many roads were destroyed, and electricity, water and phone lines were cut to many areas — meaning there was no word of death or damage from many outlying areas. Experts warned that a tsunami could strike anywhere in the Pacific, and Hawaii could face its largest waves since 1964 starting at 11:19 a.m. (4:19 p.m. EST), according to Charles McCreery, director of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.
February 27, 2010 – NY Times
1.5 Million Displaced After Chile Quake
More than 1.5 million people have displaced by the quake, according to local news services that quoted the director of Chile’s emergency management office. In Concepción, which appeared to be especially hard hit, the mayor said Sunday morning that 100 people were trapped under the rubble of a building that had collapsed, according to Reuters. Elsewhere in Concepción, cars lay mangled and upended on streets littered with telephone wires and power cables. A new 14-story apartment building fell, while an older, biochemical lab at the University of Concepción caught fire. In the nearby port of Talcahuano, a giant wave flooded the main square before receding and leaving behind a large fishing boat on the city streets. While this earthquake was far stronger than the 7.0-magnitude one that ravaged Haiti six weeks ago, the damage and death toll in Chile are likely to be far less extensive, in part because of strict building codes put in place after devastating earthquakes.
March 1, 2010 – Best Syndication News
Looters Move Into Cities After Chile Earthquake
Looting and fear of gangs has hampered the rescue efforts in Chile Monday after a magnitude 8.8 earthquake shook the country early Saturday morning (see list of largest quakes below). Similar to the situation following hurricane Katrina and the Los Angeles riots of 1992, residents and businesses of the cities and outlying areas are falling victim to looters. Fire and police officials are staying home to protect their property. Mayor of Concepción, Jacqueline van Rysselberghe, has made a plea to firefighters to come back to work. She said that since the onslaught of riots and fear of gangs moving into the city, firefighters have stayed home to protect their families.
March 1, 2010 – Infosurhoy.com
World promises to help Chile in rebuilding efforts
The United States and Europe promised financial support to Chile as teams of international relief workers descended on the South American nation, which suffered the Western Hemisphere’s second massive earthquake in seven weeks, according to Agence France-Presse. Chile, one of South America’s richest countries, appreciates the help but wanted to survey the total extent of the damage before beginning any relief effort. The earthquake is believed to have damaged more than a million homes, caused cracks in roads, left millions without power and damaged the airport in the capital of Santiago, according to AFP. But the most severe damage happened in Concepción, the nation’s second-largest city about 310 miles south of Santiago, which was very close to the epicenter.
Red Cross confident it can simultaneously coordinate relief efforts in Chile and Haiti
The Red Cross’ mission just got a lot harder, as the organization now must coordinate assistance in Chile, while sustaining a major, long-term rebuilding project in Haiti. “Organizations like ours are able to coordinate on multiple disasters,” said Red Cross spokesman Eric Porterfield, citing as an example the cyclone in Myanmar and the earthquake in China’s Sichuan province in May 2008, to the Los Angeles Times. In the seven weeks since Haiti was rocked by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake, the Red Cross raised US$322 million, and Porterfield envisions another emergency account being set up to help Chileans, according to the Los Angeles Times. Doctors Without Borders already has sent a staff to Chile in addition to numerous medical personnel it has stationed throughout Haiti. The next test is for smaller charities to be able to generate money for Chile as successfully as they did for Haiti. “The nongovernmental organizations have been tapped out and stretched by the tough economy,” said Thomas Tighe, president and chief executive of Direct Relief International, based in Goleta, Calif., to the Los Angeles Times. “I’m not sure if there was another Haiti next week that people could do the same. But our assumption is that if there is a precise need and compelling case, people will step up.”
Google starts a ‘person finder’ to locate Chile earthquake victims
Google has created a “person finder,” an online tool that helps relatives and friends connect with loved ones in the wake of the massive, 8.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked Chile, according to Agence France-Presse. Google’s “Person Finder: Chile Earthquake” can be accessed at Chilepersonfinder.appspot.com and allows use of the application in English or Spanish. It asks those who log on “What is your situation?” and offers the choice between “I’m looking for someone” and “I have information about someone.” Users can search for a person’s name or information. The site for Chile, which already has more than 1,400 records that can be searched, is modeled after the one the Internet company already started following the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti, which has nearly 60,000 records available for searching, according to AFP.
World’s largest retailer to make initial, US$1 million donation to Chile’s relief effort
Wal-Mart, the world’s biggest retailer, has made an initial donation of US$1 million to help the earthquake relief effort in Chile. “With the impact of this earthquake on our own communities, customers, associates and suppliers, we wanted to reach out with assistance as soon as possible,” Eduardo Solórzano, who heads Wal-Mart Latin America, wrote in a statement. The company employs a workforce of about 34,000 at the D&S food store chain in Chile that it purchased in January of last year, but it is unknown the extent of damage the earthquake inflicted on the stores, according to Business Week.
March 9, 2010 – Infosurhoy.com
Children return to school in Chile
Hundreds of thousands of Chilean kids returned to class on March 8 for the first time following the 8.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked the nation. “It’s good for the children to go back to school because they will focus on their [studies],” a mother told Agence France-Presse as she dropped off her son at Subcaseaux Junior High School in the nation’s capital. Teachers received training on how to help students with “lots of love, lots of willingness to listen.” Students were eager to see their friends who they feared were killed by the earthquake or tsunamis, according to Mónica Jiménez, the country’s education minister. “I missed my friends, I’ve been afraid of the aftershocks,” a boy said to AFP just before entering class for the first time since the end of the southern hemisphere’s summer. The only schools that remain closed are the ones in Maule and Bio-Bio – the two regions that suffered the most damage – but they are expected to open later this month or in early April. It is estimated that 7,000 kids attended schools that were deemed unusable because of the natural disasters, which caused the students to be transferred to schools in other districts, according to Pablo Zalaquet, Santiago’s mayor.
March 10, 2010 – Infosurhoy.com
Chilean government provides water, restores electricity to majority in battered nation
Chile has moved beyond the emergency response part of the recovery process from the earthquake, as it has provided food, shelter and medical assistance to those in areas that were most affected by the event on Feb. 27. “We are surpassing the toughest phase of the emergency, as we have been able to give water, food and shelter to the thousands of victims affected in the center-south of the territory,” Patricio Rosende, the country’s interior vice minister told the Chinese news agency Xinhua. He said the government has set up water distribution points in the areas that sustained the most damage. Rosende added that about 10.6 million have had water service returned to their homes, 589,000 are getting their water via trucks, and electricity has returned to 90% of buildings. “There will be subsidies for the families to repair their houses,” he told Xinhua, adding there were 23,248 buildings that were damaged, and 6,378 more that were considered severely damaged. “If the damages are irreparable, and the related directions of the municipalities declare the buildings uninhabitable for the families, they could receive a new subsidy.”
Apr 2, 2010 – Press Release
CAFE Partners with SEPADE to Help with Earthquake Reconstruction in Chile
In February, Canadian Aid for Education (CAFE) launched a response to the massive earthquake and tsunami which struck southern Chile on February 27th, 2010. Scott Clerk, a CAFE volunteer, visiting Chile during March, was able to visit several of the cities most affected by the disaster. During that visit, CAFE was able to meet with local authorities and educational institutions to assess reconstruction projects. CAFE has agreed to partner with SEPADE, an educational NGO based in Concepcion, Chile. SEPADE runs several high schools, where low-income and at-risk youth can receive a high quality education. Furthermore, SEPADE alsoworks with neighbourhood groups to build their capacity to take the lead in the development of their communities. The selected project, to be organized in the cities of Lota and Coronel, will allow students to become protagonists in the reconstruction effort, by proposing and implementing their own rebuilding projects. CAFE looks forward to working with SEPADE in the future, and being a part of their transformative educational efforts.