World Vision assessing damage, ready to respond to Chile earthquake

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Feb. 27 /CNW/ - World Vision is preparing to respond to the massive 8.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Chile, working with its regional offices to transport emergency relief supplies and getting ready to send more staff to support the relief response.

The development, relief and advocacy organization's first relief flight, in coordination with the Bolivian air force, is tentatively planned to depart for Chile later today - with relief supplies like tarps, blankets, plastic sheeting, and collapsible water containers for survivors. Airport closures in Chile are forcing delays in the plane's departure.

World Vision is also concerned about the possible tsunami that is reportedly heading for the region and as far as Asia as a result of Chile's quakes. Our disaster response teams are contacting offices across the region to alert them for the possibility of a major tsunami.

"This quake off the Chilean coast has the potential to reach remote areas and it will be really difficult to grasp the number of deaths and amount of damage quickly. But we know children and families are the ones who are likely to suffer the most. As a child-focused organization, we are extremely concerned about helping children cope with this earthquake," said Dave Toycen, president and CEO of World Vision Canada.

World Vision has worked in Chile for 30 years and has more than 100 staff in the country, reaching out to about 100,000 children and adults within the country's poorest, most marginalized communities. World Vision Canada has worked extensively in the south of Concepcion, the city that has been hardest hit by the earthquake.

Chile is prone to large earthquakes. After the 7.7 quake in northern Chile in November 2007, World Vision was one of the first responders in the area and set up child-friendly space- a safe and secure place for children to recover from their trauma-to serve the needs of the quake's youngest survivors.

Those wishing to help with World Vision's Chile relief efforts can visit www. worldvision.ca/help or call 1-800-268-5528.

SOURCE World Vision Canada

For further information: For further information: or to interview World Vision experts, please contact: Yoko Kobayashi, (905) 565-6200 ext. 2151, (416) 671-0086 (cell), yoko_kobayashi@WorldVision.ca; Britt Hamilton, (905) 565-6200 ext 3973, (416) 419-1321 (cell), britt_hamilton@worldvision.ca


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