Chile: Earthquake - Information Bulletin n° 1

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In Brief

This Information Bulletin (no. 1/2005) is being issued for information only. The Federation is not seeking funding or other assistance from donors for this operation at this time.

The Situation

A major earthquake occurred in northern Chile at 22:44 UTC on Monday, 13 June, 2005. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) measured the quake at 7.9 on the Richter scale. The epicenter was located at 19.90° south, 69.12° west, 115 km east-northeast of the city of Iquique (pop. 238,000) and about 1,515 km north of the capital, Santiago. Its depth has been calculated at 110.8 Km. The earthquake lasted approximately 50 seconds.

According to local authorities, initial reports indicate that nine people are dead, 100 are injured, and at least 17 homes have been destroyed. Landslides triggered by the seismic movement have blocked several roads. The earthquake has interrupted water, electric and telephone service is many areas, and roads have been damaged. In Alto Hospicio the Emergency Healthcare Service Center has reportedly collapsed. The government has issued a Red Alert for the region (a measure that will allow immediate use of emergency means and resources), and school classes have been suspended due to the risk of strong aftershocks. Emergency airlift operations were scheduled to start.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

The Chilean Red Cross is active throughout the affected area providing emergency care and is conducting initial assessments. In Iquique, volunteers from the chapter are attending to injured persons arriving at the hospital. The Chilean Red Cross National Emergency Director has been in contact with the Federation's Pan-American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU) and additional support and assistance will be made available if needed.

The Vice-president of the country and other ministers are planning to travel by plane to the affected area today, and will carry approximately 15 tons of supplies (primarily blankets and mattresses) to equip temporary shelters. The Ministry of Health has sent a truckload of medical supplies. The Chilean Red Cross, with Federation support, is monitoring the situation in close contact with the United Nations, the Government, and other actors. Further information will be made available shortly.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Panama; Nathan Cooper; Disaster Management Delegate; or Nelson Castaño, Head of PADRU;

In Geneva: Olaug Bergseth, Regional Officer, Americas Department, email:; phone: 41.22.730.4535

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for a full description of the national society profile, please access the Federation's website at