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British Red Cross launch fund for Chile earthquake victims
2:15pm Monday 1st March 2010 in Charity Check
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 today.
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.