Chilean districts organize efforts to aid quake victims
Rotary districts in Chile are organizing efforts to provide aid to tens of thousands left homeless by an 8.8 magnitude earthquake 27 February. Map by U.S. Geological Survey
Rotary districts in Chile are organizing efforts to aid tens of thousands of homeless people in areas devastated by a powerful earthquake and tsunami that struck the country's Pacific coast on 27 February.
Chile's government, along with other international aid organizations, has supplied food and water to desperate survivors as the death toll has risen to nearly 800. Many coastal towns were destroyed, first by the 8.8 magnitude quake, then by surging tsunami waves.
Luis Veliz Severino, governor of District 4320, has allocated an initial US$9,500 to relief efforts.
Four clubs in the hardest-hit areas of Bío-Bío and Maule have set up donation drives for clothes, shoes, and blankets.
A ShelterBox response team is en route to Chile's capital, Santiago, to deliver an initial shipment of 448 ShelterBox containers. The Rotary Club of Santiago will conduct an emergency meeting on 3 March with the ShelterBox team to decide where to distribute the containers.
"The full extent of the damage in Chile is yet to be seen, but there will undoubtedly be a need for emergency shelter," says John Leach, head of operations for ShelterBox. "Our response team will work closely with Rotarians in Santiago to make sure the aid reaches the people who need it most."
Six Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholars who were in affected areas have reported in safe.
RI President John Kenny offered condolences via e-mail to governors of districts 4320, 4340, 4350, and 4360 in Chile. He asks Rotarians to learn the latest on Rotary's relief efforts and how they can help as it becomes available at www.rotary.org.
Give to the Chile Disaster Recovery Fund