A “Very Deceiving Earthquake”

A Salvation Army worker surveys damage from Chile's earthquake.

A Salvation Army worker surveys damage from Chile's earthquake.

The massive tremor that shook Chile in late February has been described as a “very deceiving earthquake.” Though it initially did not show signs of catastrophic proportions, the quake seems to be breaking down the affected areas’ infrastructure from the inside out.

While many believed that the central region of Chile was not affected, many buildings in Santiago are now being condemned because of damage from the earthquake.   The strong aftershocks have impacted the infrastructure of many buildings to the point where at least two to three 18 – 25 story apartment complexes in Santiago have had to turn their residents away  so the buildings can be imploded in the near future.  Many families have been displaced, and all socioeconomic levels are being affected by this disaster.

Lt. Colonel F. Bradford Bailey, Chief Secretary of The Salvation Army South America West, said “This earthquake has not only caused physical damage but is has caused damage to the psyche and social conditions of Chile.  It has brought out the best and the worst of ChileansMany are very disappointed in their countrymen (i.e. looting, vandals), while others have stepped up to help and provide strength that is immeasurable.”

He went on to say, “This is where The Salvation Army has an opportunity to step up to offer a ministry of presence, and many church members are finding a chance to share their relationship with God.  This combined catastrophe will continue to not only affect the pocketbooks of the Government and its citizens, but also the soul of the Chileans”.

Here are  some ways The Salvation Army is helping in Chile:

Santiago Metropolitan region:

  • The Salvation Army is now providing an average of 3,000 meals a day.   These numbers continue to grow, and three meals a day are served.  Water, first aid supplies, blankets, candles and other emergency supplies are to be distributed as needed.


  • Corps Officers, soldiers, and volunteers continue to provide emergency services to displaced residents.


  • The Hualpencillo Corps continues to serve as a headquarters for food distribution.
  • As of Wednesday, March 3, they now have three emergency disaster crews carrying provisions to outlying areas. Additional teams are being deployed from Santiago.
  • Salvation Army Corps Sgt. Major in this city lost her home to the tsunami but is camped out in a tent at the courtyard of the property to help take care of those in greater need than she is at this time.


  • The Salvation Army has asked Chilean Emergency Disaster Ministries to open up a fourth front to provide emergency services.   The Salvation Army has offered to handle emergency distribution to this community.

If you’d like to support The Salvation Army’s ongoing relief efforts in Chile, you can:

  • Donate online
  • Text ‘CHILE’ to 52000 to make a $10 contribution

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