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A sign outside Sacrados Corazones de Alameida School in Santiago, 4 March 2010, saying that donations for earthquake victims are welcome. Credits: Caritas/Andreas Lexer

A sign outside Sacrados Corazones de Alameida School in Santiago, 4 March 2010, saying that donations for earthquake victims are welcome.
Credits: Caritas/Andreas Lexer

A massive earthquake in Chile has left two million people in need of support in some of the poorest parts of the country.

The quake struck on Saturday 27 February 115km (70 miles) north-east of Concepcion and 325km south-west of Santiago.

At least two million people have been affected and 1.5 million homes have been destroyed in one of the biggest quake’s on record.

Caritas is distributing aid through its national Caritas Chile office in 23 different areas providing initially food.

Caritas Chile Director Lorenzo Figueroa said, “We are collecting food to be sent immediately to communities which have been most affected by the earthquake and where shortages are already being reported.”

A Caritas Internationalis team composed of staff from the headquarters in the Vatican and from the region are supporting relief efforts on the ground.

Caritas is also working with a search and rescue team from Mexico to help find survivors under the rubble.