Earthquake in Chile: "So that no one and nothing be forgotten"
Monday, 08 March 2010 16:52

To help the victims of the earthquake in Chile, AVSI-USA   endorses the appeal and the initiatives of Fundacion Domus, an AVSI network local partner, based in Santiago, Chile.

“As families remove the rubble of their own houses, basic food supplies are sent from one city to another, and people cook and sleep in their friends’ houses.  Many cities were destroyed, but a strong face is slowly emerging from the people as they bury the dead, console the living, and search for the missing.  It is as if a force to give back life has been infused in those still alive.”

-Bolivar Aguayo Ceroni, Fundacion Domus, Chile

 

Donations made to the Fundacion Domus in Chile will reach the following groups:

·         Families with immediate damage to their houses

·         Damaged schools

·         Trappist  Quilvo monastery in Curicò that suffered severe damage

·         The parish of the University of Concepcion, to support families and reconstruction efforts


Tax-deductible Donations can be made through AVSI-USA.

By Check: AVSI-USA 529 14th Street NW, Suite 994, Washington, DC 20045

Online:  www.avsi-usa.org via PayPal

Please specify “Chile Earthquake” with your donation.

 

News from Edudown- an education and health center for children with handicaps in San Bernardo, Santiago, Chile.

Juan Emilio Parada writes:

Dear AVSI friends,

In San Bernardo the scene is dramatic.  Many buildings have suffered grave damage, and in the city there are power outages causing communication problems.  The Center for Education and Health for children with disabilities was badly damaged but we hope to be able to repair it.  Regarding the children sponsored through the Distance Support program, our staff is currently gathering information about the effects of the earthquake on each child’s family and living situation.  As soon as we have all of the information we will send you a detailed report about each child.  A hug to all, and thank you for your concern.

 

News from the San Jose Educational Center in Santiago, Chile

Monica writes:

The area around San Jose Educational Center was not badly damaged, and all of the families are fine.  We have a few problems with supplies because there are some areas without electricity and others with little water.  The situation is very difficult; many have relatives and family that live in the areas that were more affected by the earthquake in which communications have been interrupted.  This causes great concern.  In our Center, several walls collapsed and we will try to reconstruct them.  Fortunately only small things were damaged.  Thank you for your concern; it is always a sign of closeness that reminds us that we are not alone.  A big hug to all and greetings to all of our AVSI friends.

 

From El Diario (Chilean Newspaper)

“It was a hard awakening for most Chileans” Bolivar Aguayo Ceroni of the Domus Foundation writes in il Sussidiario.  At 3:35 AM on February 28th a huge earthquake hit the country, registering an 8.8 on the Richter scale and lasting almost 3 minutes.  Those three minutes were enough provoke damage in five regions, a radius of 500km from the epicenter located 90 km from Concepcion (the second biggest city in Chile, population almost two-million).

As day arrived, the desolate view of the areas closest to the epicenter continued to unfold, principally in the Biobio and Maule regions.  These two regions were hit by tidal waves and tsunamis that entered inland as far as 2 kilometers, destroying everything in their path.

At the moment Chile reports 708 official deaths, and an unknown number of missing.  It is difficult to measure human loss given that there are still so many areas (especially in costal villages) where communication has been cut off and roads, bridges, ports, and airports are in horrible condition.

“The number of victims will inevitably rise - affirms President Michelle Bachelet in March 3rd in Santiago – I believe that the number of deaths will rise, given the damage I have seen over the land.  In areas where the tsunami hit, the sea will begin to return some of the bodies, though in some cases they will never be seen again.”

The situation is most extreme in Concepcion, Talca and Curico.  There is neither water nor electricity throughout most of these regions.  Many hospitals were partially or completely damaged, as were schools, municipalities, houses and buildings.

Desperate people are fervently looking for water, food and fuel and in their disorder they have even broken into stores and supermarkets.  In light of this pillaging and the general desperation of the population, the state decided to impose a curfew over all affected regions, from 9:00PM to 6:00 AM.

The modern urban highways of Santiago were hit especially hard, destroying bridges and overpasses.  The grave damages inflicted upon buildings caused many house walls to collapse (especially in the outskirts of the city), causing the deaths of 50 people.  Santiago is currently isolated from the rest of the world because its airport, once a symbol of the city’s development, is almost unusable because of the severe damages caused by the earthquake.  Fortunately drinkable water, gas and electricity are returning little by little to the capital.

The outlook is desolate; neither the extent of the damages caused by the earthquake nor their cost can currently be accurately estimated.  What it will take to rebuild the cities and countries hit by such a natural disaster is unknown.  But as families remove the rubble of their own houses, basic food supplies are sent from one city to another, and people cook and sleep in their friends’ houses.

Many cities were destroyed, but a strong face is slowly emerging from the people as they bury the dead, console the living, and search for the missing.  It is as if a force to give back life has been infused in those still alive.” Bolivar Aguayo Ceroni