Chile Earthquake: Update

Alliance missionaries are safe following an 8.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Chile on Saturday, February 27, accompanied by a tsunami that dragged hundreds of people into the ocean. The death toll climbed to 708 in what news reports describe as one of the most devastating earthquakes in centuries.

 “We are fine, and the Alliance missionary staff is all okay,” said Bob and Cheryl Fugate, Alliance international workers serving in Chile. “We could not escape the house because the movement was so strong [that] we could not even stand up. We found shelter under the dining room table and prayed until the dramatic shaking subsided.” 

There was no serious damage to Alliance churches and no reports of church members hurt at this time.

Unthinkable Magnitude

According to the Associated Press, efforts to determine the full scope of destruction were disrupted by a series of aftershocks that continued to turn buildings into rubble. Officials estimate that 500,000 houses were destroyed or badly damaged, and a growing number of people have been listed as missing.

“We are facing a catastrophe of such unthinkable magnitude that it will require a giant effort” to recover, said President Michele Bachelet.

The Alliance Responds

CAMA (Compassion and Mercy Associates), the relief and development arm of The Alliance, is assisting survivors of the quake. Currently, a CAMA representative is meeting with Chilean personnel to review the damage and formulate a plan. More information will be forthcoming as word is received from Alliance people on the ground.

What You Can Do

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Ten cents of every dollar given to this project will be divided between the CAMA Advance Fund and the Great Commission Fund to cover travel, administrative, and logistical costs of ministering to the needs of those affected by this disaster. As far as possible, the expressed preference of a donor will be respected and followed. In the event that this gift is oversubscribed, any remaining funds will be used for future disaster relief efforts.


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