International Medical Corps has a team on the ground in Chile, coordinating with ONEMI (the National Office of Emergencies and Information) and assessing the needs at local hospitals and clinics, following the devastating 8.8-magnitude earthquake that struck February 27. International Medical Corps is also gathering emergency medicines and supplies and has additional Emergency Response Teams of volunteer doctors and nurses on standby, ready to deploy as needed.
The earthquake was one of the strongest on record, sending tsunami warnings throughout the Pacific and triggering aftershocks as powerful as 6.9. The death toll is now at 723, according to ONEMI, a figure that is expected to rise.
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. 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-earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, killing at least 230,000. Chile is relatively well equipped to respond to natural disaster and had deployed teams to Haiti to assist.
International Medical Corps was on the ground in Haiti, treating patients, within 22 hours of that disaster. Today, teams are treating at least 1,500 patients a day throughout the earthquake-affected areas.
International Medical Corps’ Emergency Response draws on 25 years experience in emergency settings, including last September’s earthquake in Sumatra, Indonesia, the massive 2005 earthquake in Pakistan and the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004. Donate to International Medical Corps by visiting www.InternationalMedicalCorps.org.