Chile: Earthquake Emergency Appeal no. MDRCL009 Final Report

Situation Report
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A. Situation analysis

A.1 Description of the disaster

On 1 April 2014, following several weeks of tremors, an 8.2-magnitude earthquake on the Richter scale struck 89 kilometres south-west of Cuya (northern Chile) at 20:46 local time. A few minutes after the earthquake occurred, the National Emergency Office of the Ministry of Interior and Public Security (ONEMI) requested a preventive evacuation along the coastal section of the affected regions due to a tsunami warning. This situation led to the evacuation of 972,457 people nationwide.

The president of the republic declared a state of emergency for the regions of Arica, Parinacota and Tarapacá in the early hours of 2 April. Later that same day, the Centre of National Seismology of the University of Chile declared that 96 aftershocks had been recorded, eight of which were felt by the population.

On 2 April 2014, a second earthquake with a magnitude of 7.6 on the Richter scale struck 45 kilometres south-west of Iquique (northern Chile). It was categorized as a strong aftershock of the event on 1 April. A second precautionary evacuation affecting 270,997 people took place along the coastal part of the regions of Arica, Parinacota, Tarapacá and Antofagasta.

The effects of the earthquake resulted in significant infrastructural damage in parts of Norte Grande de Chile, particularly in the regions of Arica, Parinacota and Tarapacá. The latter was the most affected with 13,720 homes damaged, of which 1,225 were completely destroyed.

Basic services such as water and electricity were restored. Most of the affected families were placed in emergency housing with shed roofs, in emergency housing with improved shed roofs, in temporary housing solutions or in their already repaired homes.

The Chilean Red Cross (ChRC) met with the regional government and work groups in order to determine the most urgent shelter needs that could be addressed by the cash transfer programme. This process and the subsequent actions carried out by the ChRC strengthened the coordination between the National Society, the government, and the municipalities.

The government provided vouchers to be used for rental needs in Iquique, Alto Hospicio, Tamarugal and for family networks in transition.

Additionally, a bonus of 50,000 Chilean Pesos (CLP), approximately USD 86.40 dollars, was provided for utility expenses, such as water, electricity and gas for the affected people.

During the emergency phase, the government also provided accommodations for vulnerable people, prioritizing pregnant women, elderly women and men, people with special needs and families with small children. These people were located in hostels, as opposed to the camps, in order to avoid aggravating situations of vulnerability.

Summary of response

Overview of Host National Society

After the aftershock on 2 April 2014, the ChRC mobilized 120 volunteers from nine branches to support the evacuation and provide psychosocial support and first aid. Volunteers provided these services at meeting points and collective centres in their cities. The Iquique branch opened its doors to the community, providing sleeping quarters for 60 people. Through the emergency appeal, the ChRC focused on activities in line with the DREF operation launched soon after the emergency, with an emphasis on the sectors of health and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).

On 4 April, two National Intervention Teams (NIT) specialized in psychosocial support and general activities were deployed to Iquique, along with a community care vehicle and driver. Two general NIT members and two water and sanitation NIT members also were mobilized to support this operation. The National Society headquarters and its branches within the affected area undertook 14 field missions to conduct evaluations of the affected communities and to monitor field activities. The disaster management coordinator for South America from the Pan American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU) supported an initial evaluation of the affected areas. The teams conducted 13 community assessments, including collective centres, communities and camps. This also included an assessment of the conditions of Colombian immigrants located in the area of Iquique.

During this operation, the Chilean Red Cross implemented the bulk of its actions in four sectors: water, sanitation and hygiene promotion; health and care; temporary housing and shelter; and Quality programming - Common aspects to all sectors. The following section provides a brief summary of the achievements in each with more details in section “C. Detailed Operational Plan” below.

Financial situation: CHF 437,374 (85.9 per cent) were spent by the close of the operation of the total budget CHF 508,844. The total coverage of the appeal budget was 89.9 per cent (CHF 457,558). The final balance of CHF 20,184 will be reimbursed back to the DREF as per IFRC procedures.

The IFRC, on behalf of the Chilean Red Cross, would like to thank the partners who contributed to this emergency appeal: American Red Cross, Canadian Red Cross Society, Japanese Red Cross Society, Red Cross of Monaco, Swiss Red Cross (Swiss government), Taiwan Red Cross Organisation and the VERF/WHO Voluntary Emergency Relief.