In response to the magnitude 8.8 earthquake that struck Chile early Saturday morning, Direct Relief International has offered assistance to Chilean authorities, emergency relief organizations, and U.S.-based partners working in Chile.
In the immediate aftermath of an emergency, search and rescue operations and damage assessments are essential priorities to save lives and organize appropriate response efforts.
As search and rescue operations and initial damage assessments are performed by Chilean authorities, Direct Relief will continue to liaise with Chilean organizations and with colleague international organizations with operations in Chile. Direct Relief is preparing to respond based on long experience to earthquakes, including the ongoing effort in Haiti, but will coordinate with local actors to ensure any response is properly targeted.
News reports indicated that 122 people have been killed and structures have been damaged in Santiago, the capital, which is 200 miles from the epicenter in Concepcion; Chile President Michelle Bachelet has declared a “state of catastrophe.” A tsunami warning has been issued for Peru, Ecuador, and Hawaii. Direct Relief is monitoring the situation as assessments are conducted.