November 16 2007

Aid for earthquake victims in Chile

16/11/2007- On 14 November, an earthquake measuring 7.7 on the scale of Richter hit the regions of Tarapacá and Antofagasta. Lasting for about 40 seconds, the earthquake caused the death of two persons and over a hundred have been injured. SOS Children's Villages Chile will support children affected by the earthquake in particular.

Photo: SOS Archives
Many houses collapsed leaving many without a home (Topocilla) - Photo: SOS Archives

A team of SOS Children's Villages staff has travelled to the most affected areas in order to assess the general situation. According to current reports, among the most affected cities are Tocopilla and Maria Elena.

Exceeding previous estimates, 10,000 people are said to be affected. Up to 70 percent of houses have suffered various magnitudes of damage, of which about 1,200 houses may have been completely destroyed.

SOS Children's Villages Chile has already advanced plans to support the most affected children and families in the areas of disaster. One of the first tasks of the SOS Children's Villages team is to collect preliminary data concerning the situation and conditions of the people in order to channel the organisation's support. Some of the most pressing needs are fresh water, medical aid, and food supplies.

Photo: SOS Archives
Photo: SOS Archives

In the meantime, affected children from various communities are being assisted and supported through various SOS Children's Villages programmes in the city of Antofagasta, where the majority of school classes have been suspended.

Moreover, the water supplies in Tocopilla have not been completely restored. The principal hospital in Tocopilla has been severely damaged and water is being supplied by cisterns. Many injured people have been tended to in the open. The main access roads have also suffered damages, hindering land communication.