Samaritan’s Purse has emergency workers and supplies on the way to southern Chile, where a massive earthquake struck before dawn Saturday and triggered tsunami warnings across the Pacific Ocean as far away as Hawaii.
Our disaster response team based in neighboring Bolivia is bringing truckloads of food and blankets. We are working with evangelical church partners in the affected areas to assess the needs and determine the locations where we can help.
The earthquake was measured at a magnitude of 8.8 and centered just off the coast near Concepcion, the second largest city in Chile. Major damage was reported 200 miles away in the capital city of Santiago. It hit at 3:34 a.m. local time Saturday, February 27 (1:34 a.m. Eastern Time), while many people were asleep in their homes.
Chile has a history of devastating earthquakes, including the most powerful one ever measured, a 1960 quake that measured 9.5 and killed several thousand people. (By comparison, the earthquake that killed over 230,000 people in Haiti Jan. 12 measured 7.0. Each increase of one point represents 32 times more intensity.)
Please pray for the people of Chile and our local church partners.