Chile’s Earthquake Impacts Alliance Churches

The following account was provided by Bob and Cheryl Fugate, Alliance global staffers in Santiago, Chile.

One day after an 8.2 earthquake rocked northern Chile, a second major aftershock of 7.6 intensity hit the area. Many homes already weakened by the first quake have been permanently damaged. Our churches in the zone report no loss of life, but they will face hardships and have great challenges to minister to the many affected families.

This morning I talked with Iván Flores, lead pastor of the Alliance church in Iquique. Iván and his congregation are safe, but he reports damage to the church in Iquique and to the pastor’s house in nearby Alto Hospicio.

I could sense the exhaustion in Iván’s voice; they have not slept for two days due to the constant tremors. Electricity is out in many places, and water is slowly being restored. He reports that people are sleeping in their cars or on the street, afraid of another large aftershock. The area has experienced 247 aftershocks in two days. Some people walk through the streets screaming, having been psychologically stunned by the second large quake along with the grating tsunami sirens that wail throughout the city.

Iquique Alliance Church

The Iquique church lost all their windows, the glass doors shattered, false ceilings and the interior lights fell through, and most of the audiovisual equipment was damaged from the falling objects.

Pastor Iván told me that when the quake hit, the congregation was in the middle of Tuesday night Bible Academy. He told the congregation that they were alive because the church had been built by Alliance global staff, Chuck and Betty Ostlie, and that it was solid!

Alto Hospicio Alliance Church

The church in neaby Alto Hospicio survived unscathed, but the pastor’s house was destroyed. The house is rented, so this poses a serious problem to the small congregation. The pastor is living in a tent in an improvised camp until a solution can be found. Alto Hospicio is still mostly without water and electricity. We praise the Lord for the solid building that was built in 2005 by a work team from Zephyrhills, Florida, Alliance Church.

The small congregation will be hard pressed to find a house to rent for their pastor in the devastated city. Bread is selling for $3 dollars a pound, and water is $20 dollars a half-gallon. Rents are likely to double and triple in the next months.

Be sure to follow the tag ChileEarthquake2014 on our Web site to receive the latest posts about this developing situation.

Give to Chile Earthquake relief»

Five cents of every dollar given to this project will go towards the CAMA Advance Fund to cover travel, administrative, and logistical costs of those 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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