International Medical Corps is monitoring the situation in Chile and in areas in the Pacific basin where tsunami warnings have been issued, following an 8.8-magnitude earthquake that struck early Saturday.
Emergency Response Teams are preparing to deploy to Chile and potential tsunami areas, and are gathering the necessary medicines and supplies.
The quake struck at 3:34 a.m. local time and was centered about 70 miles from Concepcion, Chile’s second-largest city, at a depth of 22 miles. There were early reports of about 120 deaths, with the toll expected to rise. It downed buildings and houses in Santiago, about 200 miles away.
According to CNN, the earthquake in Chile was more powerful than the 7.0 quake that struck Haiti on Jan 12, killing at least 230,000.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a warning for Chile and Peru, and a less-urgent tsunami watch for Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica and Antarctica. Hawaii sounded tsunami-warning sirens as well.
International Medical Corps was on the ground in Haiti, treating patients, within 22 hours of that disaster. Today, teams are treating 1,000 patients a day throughout the earthquake-affected areas.
Chile is relatively well-equipped to respond to natural disaster and had deployed teams to Haiti to assist.