Earthquake in Chile: Relief Efforts to Begin

Below is an excerpt from a letter sent by Christian Maureira, the Chilean National Director, regarding the recent events in Chile.

Dear Brothers and Friends,

This earthquake was one the biggest catastrophes in the last hundred years. In addition to this, a lot of people are living in an insecure environment; whole communities without electricity, supermarkets on fire, looting and gangs taking advantage of the situation. People are still sleeping on the streets or up in the hills, full of fear; many of them still mourning their loved ones. 

Our friend Juan Carlos Reyes, who traveled south to help his family, described the scene saying, it looked like bombs had destroyed everything. Cesar and Camilo, two students who arrived this morning from the south, were profoundly moved by the desolation that southern Chile is living and said entire towns literally disappeared.

Cru has taken the initiative to coordinate the shipment of non-perishable food and purified water to the 7th and 8th regions which were hardest hit by the earthquake.

I have been named director of this campaign which is being called Operacion Arriba evangelicos levantando Chile (Operation Rise Up Evangelicals lifting up Chile.) We have associated with the Salvation Army, World Vision, Radio Armonia, a major Christian radio station and TV Enlace among others. On Thursday and Friday we will be on radio and TV inviting people to help fill 10 trucks in different collection sites around Santiago. We plan to leave early in the morning Saturday towards ground zero with a team of our student leaders and volunteers.

We would ask you to continue to pray with us in the following:

  1. That God would give us opportunities to bring comfort and share his love effectively and in many practical ways
  2. That this operation would be a blessing for the building up of our ministry and the church in Chile.
  3. That God would give us wisdom to make good decisions about what to do in the coming months in Chile. The operation is just beginning.

02 . March . 2010

An earthquake with a magnitude of 8.8 rocked Chile early Saturday morning, Feb. 27, 2010. The quake was 800-times more powerful than the one that hit Haiti in January and caused severe damage and devastation across a large area of the country.

Over 700 people have lost their lives and the death toll is expected to rise. Thousands have been injured. Two million people are homeless.

The areas hardest hit by the quake are Concepcion and the Region of Maule. These areas are 200 miles south of the capital of Santiago and 70 miles from the epicenter of this monster quake. Cru-Chile has been working in these areas for many years and has people on the ground there.

Together with other organizations, Cru-Chile is mobilizing to bring water, emergency food, clothes, and blankets in the name of Jesus to those who desperately need assistance.

Please join us in praying for the families who are hurting in Chile as well as the ongoing efforts to find survivors and bring relief to those who most desperately need it. You can give to the relief effort in Chile.

Cru has 15 staff members in Chile -- 9 Chilean nationals and 3 couples from the United States. All are accounted for.