EARTHQUAKE IN CHILE: between aftershocks, curfews and treatments in Lota

by SRI, 2010/03/04

The Chilean Armed Forces have taken over control in the earthquake regions at the pacific coast of the country. A strict curfew is being enforced and despite the well-established infrastructure there are problems with supplying those affected by the earthquake. Since Wednesday, the humedica team has been working in the framework of a medical aid programme organised by a hospital in Lota, which is located at about 30 kilometres from Concepcion.

Devastation in the region of Concepcion is severe. Photo: REUTERS

“Over the last 30 years I have been to many earthquake regions and I have never before experienced looting and a correspondingly strong military presence to this extent,” explained Wolfgang Groß, CEO at humedica via telephone. “We are being stopped and checked at any larger crossing”.

After a twelve hour drive from Santiago to their final destination, the team had spent the first night at one of the larger bases – the German Fire Station Number 7. “The house was crammed with typically German souvenirs, but nevertheless there was nobody who spoke German”, said Wolfgang Groß. All the bases in Concepcion are called “German Fire Stations”.

Work is generally difficult in Chile: aftershocks, the presence of the Armed Forces and curfews contribute to complicating the work of the relief teams. “The city seems to be completely deserted; it is a spooky atmosphere”, explained Dr Irmgard Harms in a protocol. Dr Harms had also been to Haiti this year, where she had been faced with a completely different situation.

Relief units agree on the fact that the earthquake has partly caused severe devastation. Also the hospital in Lota had been damaged so gravely that patients had to be accommodated at the close-by school “Escuela Tompson”. Accordingly, our doctors also treat the injured ones on the school grounds.

humedica would like to ask the people in Germany for further targeted donations to the account below in order to support the 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.

Our relief measures in Chile are carried through in close cooperation with Kindernothilfe e. V. (Duisburg). At this point humedica would like to express its thanks for this excellent cooperation. The people in Chile still depend on our aid and supplies. Thank you very much for any kind of support.

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