August 21 2007
SOS Children's Villages in Peru helps families affected by earthquake
21/08/2007 - Five days have passed since an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale hit Peru, killing more than 500 people and injuring over 2,000. Crowds of residents in different areas are still waiting for help. SOS Children's Villages has already arrived with aid supplies but needs are great.
After a team from SOS Children's Villages had assessed the situation in some of the areas that were hit hardest by the earthquake, a second team from SOS Children's Villages Peru travelled to the town of Santa Barbara in Cañete last Saturday.They launched an emergency relief programme for 100 families that had been affected by the earthquake. The town is located about 100 meters from the coast where about 80 % of the houses have collapsed.
"The situation in the area is chaotic," reports SOS co-worker Sainot Gallegos. "People have no fresh water, no electricity. Several schools have been destroyed and there isn't enough aid… Trucks carrying aid goods are being stopped in the middle of road and are being forced to give out their aid goods to the hundreds of victims on the way. The situation makes it impossible for the trucks to reach the remote areas where people have not yet received any support. Nobody knows exactly what the situation in the remote villages is like, but we know one thing for sure: these people will have to wait even longer for help to arrive. [...] In Pisco, the city that was hit hardest, the situation is even worse. The city looks like a bomb was dropped on it. Dead bodies are being counted in their hundreds, as they are pulled out from among the rubble throughout the day."
SOS Children's Villages in Peru is coordinating its emergency relief programme together with other institutions and organisations. SOS Children's Villages has organised more relief convoys, which have started to leave Lima since last Saturday, but accessing the areas hit by the earthquake is hard and dangerous.
"Fresh water, warm clothes, medical aid and food supplies are the main things needed," says Sainot. "It is dreadfully cold at night-time and most families are sleeping out in the open, in fear of another earthquake."