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Chile Earthquake Emergency: third update and action plan

Chile earthquake
Chile earthquake

At around 3.34 am on 27 February the south and central areas of Chile were hit by an earthquake measuring around 8.8 on the Richter scale.

The zones most affected by this natural disaster are located in the V, VI, VII, VIII and IX regions. They have been declared disaster zones by the Ministry of National Affairs’ National Emergency Office (ONEMI) because of the level of damage wrought on houses, buildings, bridges and roads.

The city that has been affected most is Concepción, which will be given all the help needed. Naturally our first concern is for the children, their families, SOS personnel, the people of the affected area and those who take part in our family strengthening programmes. Therefore we have set up a team in the National Office to try to contact the different programme directors to understand the situation – bearing in mind that this has been one of the strongest earthquakes in the world in the last few years.

We set up a team in the National Office to prepare an emergency programme to analyse what aid needs to be delivered and how to coordinate delivery it to the children, women and families in need. Here we present the base project with our first impressions of what needs the people in the most affected areas have and then we propose objectives and actions to do with logistics, coordination, basic supplies, coordinating HR teams and the costs of this action plan:

General Objective

Coordinate actions geared at providing emergency aid and all necessary support to the children, women, families and personnel affected by the earthquake.

Specific Objectives

  • Do an evaluation on the ground to clearly understand what the needs and the costs are.
  • Provide social and community aid – basic supplies, foodstuffs, the necessary resources to cover the most urgent needs of the children, women, families and communities in the most affected and vulnerable zones.
  • Set up and coordinate SOS teams to direct and oversee the delivery of social aid on the ground.
  • Detail the actions, procedures and logistics to facilitate the delivery of resources, aid and support to the communities or sectors most affected by the earthquake.
  • Request and calculate the funds needed to deliver resources, supplies, materials and foodstuffs.
  • Define a coordinated national communications plan.

Evaluation of the most affected communities:

Given the difficulties of communicating with the different zones and regions it has been hard to find out what has happened in the different regions and zones and so we have been relying on official statements from the media who have been able to enter or are already in the cities the earthquake has affected or devastated; Santiago, Curico, Maule, Chillan, Concepción, Malleco, Araucania - Temuco.

Most pressing needs:

  • Cold snacks for participating and affected children
  • Water
  • Tents
  • Blankets
  • Electricity generators

Report of progress at 3 March:



The emergency team in Concepción has already made contact with ONEMI (National Emergency Office - Interior Ministry), so the authorities in the area are aware of the emergency plan we are implementing. We also contacted today the National Director of SENAME (National Service of the Minor/Youth Welfare Authority) in order to coordinate actions.

With the support of the Foundation "Trascender", which specialises in professional volunteering, we are coordinating the mobilisation of experts in post traumatic therapy.

Today the SOS Children's Village in Concepción had a delivery of a generator, 2,250 litters of water, and 750 kilos of flour. The shipment was transported from Bulnes, Puerto Mont and Malleco, in coordination with SOS Children in the area.

We are coordinating the mobilisation of other SOS Children staff to the disaster area in order to support the emergency team, particularly with child-care experts.

We confirmed today damages to the facilities of the SOS Children's Village Bulnes, the Fundraising Office in Santiago, and some houses in Concepción (administrative offices). The structure of the SOS Social Centre of Carahue (near Bulnes) was also quite affected.

Victor Beltrán
National Director