April 2, 2014—The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) requests your prayers for earthquake survivors in northern Chile, following a magnitude 8.2 temblor, which triggered a tsunami with 6 ft. tall waves, on Tuesday night.
News reports indicate the quake was the largest in a series of about 300 tremors that have shaken Chile’s northern coast in recent weeks. Official reports said that five people died in the disaster that struck some 62 miles northwest of the northern city of Iquique, Iquique Province, at 8:46 p.m.
“UMCOR is monitoring the situation closely,” said Francesco Paganini, UMCOR executive secretary for International Disaster Response. “We’ve been in contact with our partner in Chile, the Methodist Humanitarian Aid Team (EMAH), since almost immediately after the quake, and are awaiting further news and needs assessments.”
Chile is a disaster-prone nation and susceptible to a range of such events, from earthquakes to volcanic eruptions. In 2010, a magnitude 8.8 earthquake struck the south-central coast and killed 526 people. In 1960, a magnitude 9.5 quake provoked a tsunami and left some 1,600 people dead.
Because of the country’s vulnerability, the Chilean government holds regular evacuation drills and other measures to help the population remain calm and take appropriate steps when disaster strikes. The government called for evacuations all along the coast following last evening’s quake.
UMCOR has partnered since 2009 with EMAH, the humanitarian assistance arm of the Methodist Church of Chile, to strengthen the organization’s capacity for disaster preparedness and shore up its response network.
UMCOR will remain in communication with EMAH, the Methodist Church of Chile, and other partners in Chile, as needs stemming from Tuesday’s earthquake become clearer.
Your gift to International Disaster Response, Advance #982450, supports UMCOR’s disaster preparedness and response work around the world.