Emergency Operations Center Situation Report #2 Chile Earthquake



- The massive 8.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Chile in the early hours of Saturday, 27 February, has now claimed at least 708 lives, according to government officials. The death toll is expected to continue to rise as communications are restored with the most affected areas.

- The quake's major impact was on infrastructure. An estimated 500,000 homes have been seriously damaged. It is believed that adobe structures will be most affected and indigenous populations most at risk. Access to health services will be a major challenge.

- A significant number of 'silent areas' (no information on status) exist. Over the next 24-48 hours more accurate information on the extent of damage in rural, isolated areas should be available.

- The earthquake generated some tsunami activity. State television quoted emergency officials as saying that 350 people were killed in the coastal town of Constitución, Chile, which was hit by the tsunami. In addition, in the coastal city of Concepción (hard hit by the earthquake itself), several hundred people may have been washed away by the tsunami. The threat appears to have passed and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center called off the warning on Sunday morning.

- The President of Chile, Dr. Michelle Bachelet, has stated that the government of Chile is identifying areas that will require international aid (among others, field hospitals and electric generators for hospitals).