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British Red Cross Chile Earthquake Appeal

1 March 2010
for further information please contact

Penny Sims

telephone: +44(0)20 7877 7044

email: psims@redcross.org.uk

out of hours 07659 145 095

• Around 2 million people affected by Chile earthquake
• Over 120 aftershocks experienced in the region, ranging between 5.5 – 6.9
• Chilean Red Cross taking part in search and rescue and helping survivors

The British Red Cross has launched an appeal in response to the devastating earthquake in Chile.

The British Red Cross Chile Earthquake Appeal will help support survivors and the work of the Chilean Red Cross. Two million people are thought to be affected by this disaster, and the area is still being rocked by significant aftershocks, the largest registering 6.9 on the Richter scale.

Mike Goodhand, British Red Cross head of disaster management said:
“We are beginning to get reports of significant damage to roads, bridges, buildings and other infrastructure. Access into some areas is still difficult, and aftershocks bring additional risks to survivors.”

“The Chilean Red Cross are assisting the emergency services with search and rescue operations and providing first aid. A team of experts are also en route from Panama. We have immediately released £50,000 to support the Chilean Red Cross, but the scale of the earthquake means much more will be needed.”

The Chilean Red Cross, as part of the country’s National Commission for Civil Protection, will be carrying out aerial assessments of the area. Staff and volunteers are broadcasting public service announcements on how to react to aftershocks, and are appealing to the public to donate blood.

A team of experts from PADRU (the Red Cross Pan-American Disaster Relief Unit, based in Panama) are en route to Chile today [1 March 2010].

The earthquake, one of the largest ever recorded, has affected areas around Chile’s second largest city, Concepcion. Two of the main affected regions are Bio Bio and Maule, both of which contain rural areas with a high vulnerability to earthquakes.

Aftershocks have continued to affect the region, including one registering 6.3 which struck Salta Province in Argentina.

To donate to the British Red Cross Chile Earthquake Appeal go to www.redcross.org.uk/chileearthquake or call 0845 054 7201.

Ends
For more details please contact: Penny Sims psims@redcross.org.uk 07659 145 095

Editors notes

1. As part of the International Red Cross Movement, the Chilean Red Cross has volunteers and staff trained to respond in the aftermath of disasters. In 2007, when an earthquake measuring 7.7 struck the northern coast, the Chilean Red Cross provided mobile medical units, emergency food packs, hygiene kits and psychological support. The Chilean Red Cross is also a member of the National Commission for Civil Protection in Chile, the body set up to co-ordinate disaster relief responses between government and other agencies.

2. The Chilean Red Cross are also supported by PADRU, the Pan American Disaster Relief Unit, based in Panama.

3. In the unlikely event that we raise more money than can be reasonably and efficiently spent, any surplus funds will be used to help us prepare for and respond to other humanitarian disasters either overseas or here in the UK. For more information visit redcross.org.uk.

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