Oxfam's team arrives in Chile to assess the damage and see where they can help
Oxfam's team of humanitarian workers arrived in Santiago during the early hours of Tuesday morning spearheading the aid agency’s response to Saturday’s devastating earthquake.
The team of five – consisting of water engineers and logisticians – is heading across to Concepcion today (Tuesday) by road, anticipating the 300-mile journey could take up to 12 hours due to the poor condition of the road.
As well as sending a team to the disaster-hit area, the organization is also planning to send a stock of relief supplies from its storage warehouse in Bolivia to Chile.
Oxfam has a stock of basic emergency supplies, including blankets, water buckets and water filters in Bolivia. Oxfam is looking into how to send these supplies to Chile. On arrival they will be handed over to partner organizations for use where they are needed most.
Once the experienced team members arrive at the affected area, they will start assessing people’s access to clean, fresh drinking water and sanitation facilities.
They will also be looking to see whether there is a need for Oxfam to provide emergency shelter.
Charlie Rowley, who is heading up Oxfam’s assessment team in Chile, says: “We are Oxfam's eyes and ears on the ground.
“It is early days yet but we are here to see how we can make a real difference and do what we can to help the people whose lives have been turned upside down by this disaster. We are particularly concerned about people living in the more remote, rural areas as they are least likely to receive immediate assistance.”
Oxfam’s team in Latin America has been talking to Chilean organizations to get as full a picture as possible of the extent of the damage – particularly in the rural, hard-to-reach areas. Until the assessment is complete, the aid agency is unclear about what its precise role in the relief effort will be.
Notes to Editors
Co-ordinating requests for interviews are:
UK: Zahra Akkerhuys on +44 1865 472498 or +44 7525 901932 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
New York: Louis Belanger on +1 (917) 224-834 – for interviews in English/Spanish
Saturday’s quake, registering 8.8, struck five regions in Chile – regions V to VIII, and the capital of Chile, Santiago. The greatest damage is believed to have occurred in the regions of Maule and Bio Bio, in the southern part of the country. In Maule alone, the death toll is believed to be more than 500; and this number is expected to increase due to the tsunami that hit the region minutes after the tremor. In the hours and days since the earthquake, thousands of families have taken to living in the hills in the seventh region.
More than 100 aftershocks have been registered since Saturday’s quake hit.
Thx for speaking up for women: @MarsGlobal,#Mondelez & @Nestle have now moved from words 2 action http://t.co/laFtaWajFI #BehindTheBrands14 hours 10 min ago
UN agency and Slow Food group partner to boost livelihoods of small farmers http://t.co/l0YMT9yyk8 @SlowFoodHQ20 hours 18 min ago
RT @oxfamgbpress: Oxfam very relieved that Cyclone #Mahasen did not cause damage to vulnerable communities in Myanmar http://t.co/t2VwONPjs021 hours 1 min ago
RT @annamac33: The #ArmsTreaty can create a safer future for millions. Urge the US to sign! http://t.co/HRlNC8BcO321 hours 41 min ago
#FF Oxfam Global Ambassadors @KristinDavis @GaelGarciaB @driverminnie @liviafirth @baabamaal @HelenLMirren @BoseOfficial22 hours 6 min ago
#FF Oxfam Global Ambassadors @AnnieLennox @djimonhounsou @angeliquekidjo @firthcom @coldplay @RahulBose1 http://t.co/rXOrgldjlt22 hours 9 min ago
Thanks for speaking up for women! @MarsGlobal #Mondelez & @Nestle have moved from words to action http://t.co/pMvtbhesPh #BehindTheBrands23 hours 58 min ago
#FF the Oxfams! @IntermonOxfam @OxfamIndia @OxfamJapan @oxfamnovib @OxfamQuebec @Oxfam_mcm @OxfamItalia @oxfam_sol @oxfamfrance1 day 1 hour ago
#FF the Oxfams! @OxfamIreland @oxfamcanada @OxfamAustralia @Oxfam_DE @OxfamAmerica @oxfamgb @oxfamnz @oxfamhongkong @oxfammexico1 day 1 hour ago
Dismal levels of investment in agriculture a primary reason 1 in 8 people in the world are hungry http://t.co/orbRUxuVQo #govspendwatch1 day 15 hours ago
'A Jungle of Humanity - and Disorder', an interactive feature from @nytimes http://t.co/DxmATtGICV #SyriaCrisis #Zaatari1 day 17 hours ago
RT @benphillips76 How to Start Development’s Gutenberg Revolution http://t.co/DbieZs9UBZ #govspendwatch1 day 18 hours ago
Social protection, #genderequality & #climatechange crucial to tackling inequality http://t.co/mKqSIBcceM via @guardian #govspendwatch1 day 20 hours ago
RT @louis_belanger Starting to see Syrian refugees all over #Beirut On promenade, on Hamra, outside grocery stores, in parking lots #Syria1 day 20 hours ago
Are governments meeting their #MDG spending targets? Read the blog http://t.co/3bF1lhH8AX #govspendwatch #MDGs1 day 20 hours ago