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American Red Cross Responds to Chile Earthquake with Initial $50,000 Pledge
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February 28, 2010
The American Red Cross is responding to the strong 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chile, making an initial $50,000 pledge from its International Response Fund for relief operations.

The Chilean Red Cross distributes water to survivors following Saturday's 8.8 magnitude earthquake.
The Chilean Red Cross distributes water to survivors following Saturday's 8.8 magnitude earthquake.
Courtesy of the Chilean Red Cross.
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“Our hearts go out to the people of Chile as they cope with the immediate aftermath of this earthquake and the continuing aftershocks,” says David Meltzer, senior vice president of international services with the American Red Cross. “Thanks to the generosity of the American people who previously donated to our International Relief Fund, we’ve been able to release an initial pledge to help the Chilean people in their hour of need and we stand ready to provide additional assistance.”

In addition, the American Red Cross will continue to monitor the potential impacts of Saturday’s tsunami and is prepared to help the people of Hawaii and the U.S. territories in the Pacific, if there is a need. As of Saturday night, all tsunami warnings resulting from the devastating earthquake in Chile have been cancelled.

A regional member of the Red Cross global network is now in Chile assessing the situation and a small team of other Red Cross emergency workers, including one member from the American Red Cross,  are enroute to Santiago.

Chilean Red Cross disaster teams are working in close coordination with the Chilean government, providing limited search and rescue services, administering first aid and distributing pre-positioned supplies. The Chilean Red Cross is a member of the government’s emergency response group, which is leading the emergency operations and has a great deal of experience and systems in place to manage response to major disasters.

In international disasters, the American Red Cross provides assistance at the request of the officials in that country, and the Chilean Red Cross has not requested any international assistance at this point. Because the level of help that the American Red Cross would provide is not known at this point, the American Red Cross has not activated a mobile giving $10 text donation program.

Meanwhile, the American Red Cross and other Red Cross societies are continuing to support the relief operations in Haiti, where 1.3 million people have been helped since the January 12th earthquake in that country.

“As the largest humanitarian network in the world, the Red Cross has both the experience and the capacity to respond to multiple disasters at the same time,” Meltzer said. “We are supporting the Chilean Red Cross in their response to the earthquake while relief operations continue in Haiti.”

You can help the victims of countless crises, like the earthquakes in Chile and Haiti,  around the world each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to help those in need. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster please do so at the time of your donation by either contacting 1-800-HELP NOW or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish), or mailing your donation with the designation to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013 or to your local American Red Cross chapter. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting www.redcross.org.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

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