Chile: Earthquake - Information Bulletin n° 3

ME no. 05ME036

The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in over 181 countries.

In Brief



The situation

Following the 13 June earthquake which hit the northern region of Chile (regions I, II, and III) with a magnitude of 7.9 on the Richter scale (with the greatest intensity being felt in Iquique, in the province of Tarapacá), several tremors of varied intensity have continued to affect the country. None have been as severe as the first. Assessments conducted over the following weeks indicated that the damage is more serious than initially anticipated.(1)

The earthquake, the epicentre of which was located in the Andean range, left 11 dead and 182 wounded. The most significant damage occurred in dozens of small, poor towns in the high plateau where more than 80% of adobe houses were completely destroyed. Apart from the loss of houses and goods, a significant percentage of the population has also lost their work since the areas are not safe enough to be inhabited or have been destroyed. The total destruction of rural infrastructure has made it impossible to place people in temporary shelters; those without homes have been accommodated in tents, and are suffering due to the very low night time temperatures. As a result, the most vulnerable people, including children and the elderly, are suffering from respiratory problems, in addition to the scarcity of drinking water and the prevalence of rodents and insects which risk affecting the health of the population.

The Chilean Red Cross (CRC)(2) Tarapacá Regional Branch in the centre of Iquique suffered some minor damages in its infrastructure and some loss of equipment. Also the Pozo Almonte branch located deeper in the cordillera region has undergone damage, impacting the branch's ability to provide assistance.

For information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Chile: Miguel Angel Cabrera Carrasco, National Relief Director, Chilean Red Cross; Phone (562) 7776262- 7776300-; email:

In Panama, Nelson Castaño, Head of Pan American Disaster Response Unit; email, phone (507) 316- 1001, fax (507) 316-1082

In Geneva: Olaug Bergseth, Federation Regional Officer, Americas Department, Geneva; email, phone (41 22) 730-4535, fax (41 22) 733-0392

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. For longer-term programmes in this or other countries or regions, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at


(1) Data courtesy of Oxfam - Informe Evaluación Inicial - Terremoto Norte Chile - region Tarapacá


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