EARTHQUAKE IN CHILE: humedica team reaches the disaster zone

by SRI,  2010/03/02

Three days after the strong earthquake in Chile we can assume that the impact of the disaster has been underestimated particularly in the country itself. The number of confirmed casualties is increasing further, just as is the number of people who have been left destitute.

Both our team and our medi kit had kindly been taken to Chile without any problems by the airlines involved. Photo: humedica/Wolfgang Groß

In the meantime the humedica relief team, which consists of six persons, has reached Santiago de Chile together with Jürgen Schübelin of our partner organisation Kindernothilfe e. V. (Duisburg) and the team is now on its way to its final destination near the city of Concepcion.

The Chilean authorities are officially talking of 723 casualties. However, in the face of the severe devastation of large parts of the about 4000 kilometer long Chilean coastline, experts are expecting that the number of casualties will be increasing soon. The complete extent of the disaster seems to reveal itself only slowly.

Together with Jürgen Schübelin of the NGO Kindernothilfe e. V., the humedica team had already reached the Chilean capital – Santiago –on Monday.

“We don’t have a very detailed overview, but we can already see substantial damage”, reported Wolfgang Groß, CEO at humedica, via phone from Santiago. “The airport here is still officially closed down, only one of five runways is still intact”.

According to latest information, the German relief teams will for a start be deployed at a small hospital in Lota, not far from Concepcion. In the meantime humedica and Kindernothilfe also have received official invitations containing a plea for help from the Protestant-Lutheran Church of Chile (IELCH).

The strong earthquake has caused much more damage than it had been assumed in the beginning. Photo: Reuters

The church is providing the Chilean health programme EPES, which will also be supported in a practical way by humedica in cooperation with Kindernothilfe. At this point it has to be underlined that the cooperation with the NGO is working excellently and that we can expect a high degree of efficiency during this mission.

We also insist on mentioning the friendly support of the airlines Lufthansa and LAN Chile, as well as the help of customs authorities in Argentina and Chile. “We have realised how grateful everyone is for our help”, confirmed Wolfgang Groß on Tuesday.

On Monday an unbelievably sad accident happened immediately within the earthquake region: a small plane crashed, transporting a relief team of the organisation Hogar de Christo. Six persons who had come to help those in misery lost their lives.

humedica would like to ask the people in Germany for targeted donations to the account below in order to support our relief measures in Chile:

humedica e.V.
Donation reference “Earthquake Chile”
Account 47 47
Bank Code 734 500 00
Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

Please also donate online. Thank you very much.

Jürgen Schübelin (links) and Wolfgang Groß waiting for their departure to Chile. Foto: humedica

MEDIA ADVICE: Please contact our spokesman Steffen Richter if your interested in interviewing our team in Chile.

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