Massive earthquake hits Chile as Caritas looks to respond
27 February 2010
A huge earthquake measuring 8.8 has hit central Chile. Caritas is flying in an emergency response team.
Caritas search and rescue team from Haiti is on way to Chile to help rescue effort
The quake struck about 115km (70 miles) north-east of the city of Concepcion and 325km south-west of the capital, Santiago.
Tsunami warnings have been issued across the Pacific.
Emergency response staff at Caritas headquarters in the Vatican are trying to contact staff at the national office, Caritas Chile. Communications remains difficult however with telephone networks down.
Caritas Internationalis Humanitarian Director Alistair Dutton is flying from Port-au-Prince today to Cancun to join a Mexican Search and Rescue team Caritas worked with in Haiti. The team will fly to Lima today to meet Caritas Peru earthquake specialists and reach Chile overland.
Mr. Dutton said, “It was an enormous earthquake, so you would expect major damage. It is too early to tell the extent of that damage. Caritas is mobilizing in preparation for a major earthquake response.”
Deaths have been reported as well as severe damage in Chile, the capital Santiago, and the town of Parral, near the epicentre.
Caritas Chile provided emergency relief during the 1960 earthquake, the biggest earthquake ever recorded.
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