International Medical Corps is preparing a response to the 8.8-magnitude earthquake in Chile that hit Saturday. The earthquake is 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 711, according to Chilean officials, a figure that is expected to rise.
International Medical Corps has been carefully monitoring the situation in Chile since early Saturday morning. International Medical Corps is tapping its resources to gather emergency medicines and supplies and is working with partners on the ground to determine what is most needed. Emergency Response Teams of volunteer doctors and nurses are currently standing by, ready to deploy as needed.
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 quake 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.