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March 3, 2010



Chile – Earthquake

Fact Sheet #3, Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 March 3, 2010
Note:  The last fact sheet was dated March 2, 2010.


  • Two planes carrying 300 rolls of USAID/OFDA-provided plastic sheeting and two mobile water treatment units are scheduled to arrive in Santiago on March 3.  The USAID/OFDA water treatment units will benefit up to 20,000 people per day, with each unit capable of producing at least 100,000 liters of safe drinking water daily for an estimated 10,000 individuals.
  • On March 2, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) released an emergency appeal for $6.4 million to support the ongoing emergency activities of the Chilean Red Cross.  In support of the appeal, USAID/OFDA is providing $1 million to IFRC.
  • On March 3, significant aftershocks continued to occur in Chile, with at least six tremors measuring between magnitudes 5.0 and 6.0 recorded throughout the day.  International media indicated that the magnitude 6.0 aftershock at 1444 hours local time caused Chilean authorities to issue a tsunami alert for nearby coastal areas, including the previously tsunami-affected port town of Talcahuano in BioBío Region.  However, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue an official tsunami warning, indicating that a tsunami was not generated by recent aftershocks.


Numbers at a Glance                                                                                             Source

Estimated Number of Deaths


GoC – March 3

Estimated Affected Population

Approximately 2 million people

International Media – March 2


USAID/OFDA Humanitarian Assistance to Chile........................................................................................................ $1,410,000

Total USAID Humanitarian Assistance to Chile.......................................................................................................... $1,410,000

Current Situation

  • The GoC has revised the death toll to 799 people, including more than 580 reported deaths in most-affected Maule Region.  In addition, hundreds of individuals remain missing, including more than 500 people in Constitución city, Maule Region. 
  • According to the U.S. Embassy in Santiago, life in Concepción is slowly returning to normal, due to the arrival of relief supplies, gradual restoration of public services, and reopening of some stores.  However, an 18-hour nightly curfew remains in place in the city, where the majority of post-earthquake looting incidents were reported.  The Chilean military also continues to patrol Concepción and surrounding areas to maintain order and ensure distribution of food and water to affected individuals.  According to the embassy, the situation in Santiago also continues to improve, with electricity restored to 94 percent of pre-earthquake capacity and few looting incidents reported in the city. 


  • The GoC Ministry of Health (MoH) has decided to close Félix Bulnes Hospital, a large public hospital in Santiago, due to severe structural damage.  The hospital has already relocated more than 200 patients to other health facilities in Metropolitan Region.
  • According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Chile’s Medical Board has offered 68 medical volunteers to Maule and BioBío Regions to support health teams at hospitals and health centers.  In addition, private drugstore chains in affected areas have agreed to coordinate a pharmaceutical response, including the deployment of mobile field pharmacies.
  • According to the MoH and PAHO, the majority of adolescents and adults in Chile are susceptible to contracting Hepatitis A, particularly individuals housed in areas where adequate potable water is not available.  The MoH has estimated that a total of 800,000 doses of Hepatitis A vaccination will be required to inoculate the displaced population in Chile.  On March 2, PAHO reported that Sanofi Pasteur, a pharmaceutical company, had donated 80,000 doses of the vaccine.  The MoH plans to begin vaccinations in areas without regular water supply and temporary shelters in the coming weeks. 
  • On March 2, PAHO reported that the first foreign field hospitals from Argentina and Peru had arrived in Chile and will be deployed to cities where hospitals sustained the most damage, including Curicó, Parral, and Cauquenes.  At the request of the GoC, the Government of Argentina is providing three hospitals, including one mobile Air Force hospital destined for Curicó, with an unconfirmed 40-bed capacity and supporting personnel, and two field hospitals, each with 15 beds and without supporting personnel. 
  • PAHO and the U.N. World Health Organization have produced guidelines to ensure that mobile field hospitals operate without placing an undue burden on local health authorities.  The guidance has been circulated through the GoC and posted on the internet.
  • The GoC is deploying numerous mobile medical facilities, including two field hospitals and one Chilean Army medical post in Talca, one field hospital in Rancagua, one field hospital in Curanilahue, one Chilean Army medical post in Constitución, one Chilean Army medical post in Curicó, and one Chilean Army medical post in Chillán.  The GoC plans to deploy four additional field hospitals to other affected areas.


  • On March 3, the Spanish Red Cross reported plans to immediately deploy two psychosocial support teams to Chile to provide assistance to individuals affected by the earthquake. 


  • According to the Global Logistics Cluster based in Rome, limited domestic and international flights are scheduled to resume into and out of the Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport in Santiago on March 3.
  • The Global Logistics Cluster also reports that conditions of many roads and bridges are still being assessed.  The GoC has prioritized the re-opening of major roads in affected areas.  However, many sections of Highway 5—Chile’s longest route that runs north to south and part of the Panamerican Highway—remain closed.

USG Humanitarian Assistance

  • On February 27, USAID activated a Washington, D.C.-based Response Management Team to coordinate the USG response to the earthquake in Chile and facilitate information sharing and provision of assistance to earthquake-affected individuals. 
  • On February 28, U.S. Ambassador Paul E. Simons issued a disaster declaration in response to effects of the earthquake.  In anticipation of the disaster declaration, USAID/OFDA provided an initial $50,000 for the provision and transport of emergency relief commodities through the U.S. Embassy in Santiago.  USAID/OFDA assistance to date totals more than $1.4 million, including the provision and transport of 300 rolls of plastic sheeting and two water treatment units from the USAID/OFDA warehouse in Miami, Florida. 
  • USAID/OFDA has deployed a regional advisor, senior communications specialist, and field officer to Chile, in addition to activating three regionally-based disaster management experts to conduct assessments of affected areas, in coordination with U.S. Embassy personnel and GoC officials.  Additional assessment team members are scheduled to deploy to Chile on March 4.
  • The USG has provided more than 85 satellite telephones to the GoC to facilitate communications until telephone networks in affected areas are repaired. 



FY 2010

Implementing Partner






Emergency Response Activities

Affected Areas



Logistics and Relief Supplies

Affected Areas



Emergency Response Activities

Affected Areas



Administration and Support Costs







1 USAID/OFDA funding represents anticipated or actual obligated amounts as of March 3, 2010.  USAID plans to provide further assistance in accordance with the findings of GoC and forthcoming humanitarian assessments in disaster zones. 

Public Donation Information

  • The most effective way people can assist relief efforts is by making cash contributions to humanitarian organizations that are conducting relief operations.  Information on organizations responding to the humanitarian situation in Chile may be available at www.reliefweb.int
  • USAID encourages cash donations because they allow aid professionals to procure the exact items needed (often in the affected region); reduce the burden on scarce resources (such as transportation routes, staff time, warehouse space, etc); can be transferred very quickly and without transportation costs; support the economy of the disaster-stricken region; and ensure culturally, dietary, and environmentally appropriate assistance.
  • More information can be found at:
  1. USAID:  www.usaid.gov – Keyword:  Donations
  2. The Center for International Disaster Information:  www.cidi.org or (703) 276-1914
  3. Information on relief activities of the humanitarian community can be found at www.reliefweb.int

USAID/OFDA bulletins appear on the USAID web site at http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/humanitarian_assistance/disaster_assistance/.

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