Samaritan's Purse responding to earthquake in Chile

Christian relief organization has long history in South American nation

CALGARY, Feb. 27 /CNW/ - Samaritan's Purse is hurrying to assist in Chile after an 8.8-magnitude earthquake hit the South American nation early Saturday and killed a reported 147 people, with more deaths expected as officials search through the rubble.

Samaritan's Purse will lead an emergency response that will likely include food, drinking water, cooking kits, hygiene kits, and construction materials to build temporary shelters. The Christian relief and development organization is sending an Assistance Response Team from nearby Bolivia, where permanent Samaritan's Purse staff are located.

Samaritan's Purse has been working in Chile for many years through partnerships with Christian organizations there, including some that help distribute gift-filled shoeboxes each year as part of the Samaritan's Purse's annual Operation Christmas Child program.

"We are in contact with our team in Chile and we are prepared to support their emergency relief response in any way," said Fred Weiss, Samaritan's Purse Canada's executive director. "We are asking Canadians - many of whom are already partnering with us to help Haiti after the Jan. 12 earthquake there - to also assist us in Chile."

The earthquake, the worst to hit Chile in more than 50 years, struck at 3:34 a.m. local time off the Pacific coast, about 110 kilometers from Conception, the Spanish-speaking nation's second-largest city, and 320 kilometers from the capital. At least 33 aftershocks have been reported, the most recent being a 6.3-magnitude shock felt in Argentina.

Donations Needed

To support this urgent relief effort in Chile, Canadians can call 1-800-663-6500 or visit

SOURCE Samaritan's Purse Canada

For further information: For further information: Media Inquiries: Jeff Adams, Director, Communications and Creative Services Dept., (403) 615-8747,

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