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Aid Offered for Chile After 8.8-Magnitude Quake Strikes Today

In response to the magnitude 8.8 earthquake that struck Chile early Saturday morning, Direct Relief International has offered assistance to Chilean authorities, emergency relief organizations, and U.S.-based partners working in Chile.

In the immediate aftermath of an emergency, search and rescue operations and damage assessments are essential priorities to save lives and organize appropriate response efforts.

As search and rescue operations and initial damage assessments are performed by Chilean authorities, Direct Relief will continue to liaise with Chilean organizations and with colleague international organizations with operations in Chile. Direct Relief is preparing to respond based on long experience to earthquakes, including the ongoing effort in Haiti, but will coordinate with local actors to ensure any response is properly targeted.

News reports indicated that 122 people have been killed and structures have been damaged in Santiago, the capital, which is 200 miles from the epicenter in Concepcion; Chile President Michelle Bachelet has declared a “state of catastrophe.” A tsunami warning has been issued for Peru, Ecuador, and Hawaii. Direct Relief is monitoring the situation as assessments are conducted.

About Direct Relief International Founded in 1948, Direct Relief is a Santa Barbara, California-based nonprofit organization focused on improving quality of life by bringing critically needed medicines and supplies to local healthcare providers worldwide. Direct Relief has provided more than $1 billion in privately funded humanitarian aid since 2000, including more than $150 million in assistance in the United States. It has earned a fundraising efficiency score of 99 percent or better from Forbes for the past eight years, and is ranked by the Chronicle of Philanthropy as California’s largest international nonprofit organization based on private support. For more information, please visit www.DirectRelief.org.

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