Chile: Floods - Information Bulletin n° 1

Situation Report
Originally published
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 183 countries.
In Brief

This Bulletin is being issued for information only, and reflects the situation and the information available at this time. The Federation is not seeking funding or other assistance from donors for this operation at this time.

The International Federation undertakes activities that are aligned with its Global Agenda, which sets out four broad goals to achieve the Federation's mission to "improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity".

Global Agenda Goals:

- Reduce the numbers of deaths, injuries and impact from disasters.

- Reduce the number of deaths, illnesses and impact from diseases and public health emergencies.

- Increase local community, civil society and Red Cross Red Crescent capacity to address the most urgent situations of vulnerability.

- Reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion and promote respect for diversity and human dignity.

The Situation

The south-central part of Chile has been affected by strong rains and gusty winds since last Tuesday. According to the National Emergency Office (ONEMI) the situation nationwide is as follows:

- 95,862 people have been affected by the floods, 28,177 of them are severely affected.

- 400 people are in shelters.

- 682 homes have sustained major damage.

- 13,267 homes have incurred minor damage.

- 75 homes have been destroyed.

- 2 people are missing, in the communities of Yumbel and Teno.

- 19 people have died.

According to official sources, more than 24,000 of the affected individuals are located in the southern region of Bío Bío, 500 kilometres from Santiago, which was declared "a disaster zone" on Tuesday, 11 July by Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.

The bad weather spans more than 1,300 kilometres of Chilean territory, from the Coquimbo region in the North, to the Los Lagos region in the south.

The National Emergency Committee (COE) has been activated and the following levels of alert have been declared:

- Regions I - II - III - XI - XII: Early warning systems are being monitored

- Regions IV - V - VI - IX and X: Yellow alert

- Regions VII - VIII: Red alert

Region VIII, 540 kilometres from the capital, is the most affected area, especially the communities of Hualqui and Tihuayante, which have had landslides, trees uprooted, roads obstructed, bridges collapsed and drinking water supply interrupted since Monday 10 July in several communities.

Civil protection continues to be in the field evaluating damages and needs of the affected populations.

Red Cross Actions

The Chilean Red Cross is actively participating in COE meetings and has a significant role in the channelling of humanitarian aid and health care. The CRC launched a national appeal since the onset of this emergency and has received a large number of contributions, both financial and in-kind. To date, four tons of humanitarian aid was sent to the VIII Region of Bío Bío, mainly clothing, diapers, shoes and food. This has already been distributed to the communities; however, there are outstanding needs for children's winter clothing in good condition, blankets, hygiene items, shoes in good condition and medications. Contributions to this effect are being received in the CRC warehouse located on Seminario 973, Ñuñoa, from 7:00 hours until 21:00 hours local time. Financial contributions can be deposited in Banco Estado account number 29 22 22.

More than 300 volunteers within the affected regions have been activated, and 10 volunteers from other regions in the country specialized in education, health, shelters and damage assessment will be deployed to the VIII Region within the next hours in order to support and strengthen the response actions in the field.

According to official sources the government has sent to the most affected communities several trucks with food, foam mattresses, zinc sheeting and other necessary items.

Information and Coordination

The Chilean Red Cross is in permanent contact and is coordinating its actions with all government and non-government institutions concerned that have already begun to carry out activities to support the affected families.

The National Relief Director of the CRC is in regular contact with the Lima Regional Delegation and with the Federation's Pan American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU) for possible coordination of actions should the need arise.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Chile: Miguel Angel Cabrera, National Relief Director, Chilean Red Cross, Santiago, email , phone (562)777-1216, fax (562)737-0270, mobile ( 568)549-8475

In Lima: Susana Arroyo, Acting Head of Lima Regional Delegation, email, phone

(511)221-8151, fax (511)441-3607.

In Panama: Stephen McAndrew, Coordinator, Federation Pan American Disaster Response Unit, Panama, email, phone (507)316-1001, fax (507)316-1082.

In Geneva: Olaug Bergseth, Federation Regional Officer, Americas Department, email, phone (41)22-730-4535, fax (41)22-733-0395.

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (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