Salvation Army in Chile Steps Up Disaster Response

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

From The Salvation Army International Headquarters (  As the situation becomes clearer after the April 1 earthquake and tsunami that struck northern Chile, The Salvation Army is stepping up…

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Salvation Army Emergency Teams in Chile Distribute Essential Supplies

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Salvation Army in Chile is providing much-needed assistance to people affected by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit coastal regions in the north of the country…

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USA TODAY Poll: Giving – Haiti vs. Chile

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

According to USA TODAY article “Poll: More donated to Haiti than to Chile after quakes,” a recent USA TODAY/Gallop poll found that nearly half (45%) of respondents donated money to Haiti earthquake relief efforts, whereas less than one third (28%) of respondents donated to Chile aid work for the earthquake that struck the South American nation just more than a month later.

The article discusses several possible reasons for the disparity, but according to those who directly donated to Haiti efforts, 87% of them said they gave based on the amount of the country’s damage, and 73% gave based on the island nation’s dire economic state.

What factors affect you when considering donating to a disaster relief? Did you donate to efforts in Haiti or Chile, and why or why not? What do you think about the poll’s direct and implied findings?

The Salvation Army is actively working in the earthquake devastated communities of both Haiti and Chile, serving human need without discrimination. We have been present in Haiti since 1950, operating schools, clinics, hospital, feeding programs, children’s homes and church-related activities across the country. The Salvation Army has also been present and active in Chile since 1909, offering educational outreach, childcare programs, skills training, and anti-drug programs.

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Salvation Army Aids Chile’s Fishing Communities

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Salvation Army in Chile is focusing their tsunami relief response mainly on the communities of Dichato and Caleta Tumbes. Many locals here fled to high ground and watched as the tsunami destroyed their homes, possessions and livelihoods, and in some instances took the lives of their loved ones.

One woman lost her 92-year-old father who decided to stay in their house after trusting his son, a local fisherman, that the sea well would not reach the house. On any other night that would have been true – but not on this occasion.

Another fisherman explained that he didn’t think about the boat he left behind as he and his family fled, and now he doesn’t know how he’ll be able to afford to pay for a new one. His family is currently living with many others in tents and makeshift shelters in woods on high ground inland from their homes.

The tsunami destroyed the communities’ fishing fleets, and this time of year is the most important for sardine fishermen. The season lasts only three months, and many earn almost their entire annual income during this short period.

Salvation Army officers and volunteers have been working selflessly in these coastal communities to provide food, water and clothes, helping to clear and clean properties that are still standing, and offering spiritual support. In one camp volunteers are running a children’s club to try and assist in their recovery.

The secretary of the fishermen’s cooperative in Dichato said: ‘The young men may be able to retrain to do something else but many of us are too old. All we know is fishing – it is our livelihood, it is our life.’

In addition to providing food, water, clothes, and spiritual support, The Salvation Army in Chile is considering raising donations for the purpose of replacing the boats that were swept away.

The secretary of the fishermen’s cooperative in Caleta Tumbes thanked The Salvation Army for all it was doing in the community and appealed for it to continue to give assistance.

If you would like to support The Salvation Army’s ongoing relief efforts in Chile, please visit our online donation page.

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Strong Arms Around Chile

Friday, March 26, 2010

One month following the destructive magnitude 8.8 earthquake and tsunami that struck Chile, The Salvation Army continues distributing help throughout the country. More than 15,000 people have been assisted and 14,000 rations of food provided to individuals and families. Some 350 volunteers have given their help.

A campaign called ‘Strong Arms Around Chile’ has been set up to help collect donations and goods that can be delivered to the neediest Chileans.

In the area around the capital, Santiago, coffee, hot meals and other services continue to be offered.

The south of the country, particularly coastal regions, was most affected by the disaster and this area is where The Salvation Army is focusing its efforts.

Four hundred baskets with basic necessities have been given out in Caleta Tumbes, which was affected by both the quake and tsunami. Salvation Army workers are helping to clear debris in this area. The Salvation Army is also distributing family baskets with basic necessities such as food, water, hygiene products, and clothes to families who are sleeping outdoors since they no longer have homes.

In Concepción, around the epicentre of the earthquake, family baskets were distributed at a camp in the centre of the city.

In nearby Hualpén, a well on the grounds of Hualpencillo Corps (church) is providing water to the neighbourhood.

The Salvation Army’s Central Division in Chile sent 20 tons of food, clothing and water to the cities of Concepción and Hualpén, including some goods purchased with funds received from overseas.

The supplies were organized in a reception centre at Concepción Corps. The corps officers went to the affected zones to see where the aid was most needed and the community of Dichato was identified. Unfortunately, because of contamination, the military was not allowing people into the community.

Eventually a Salvation Army team was allowed to visit the New Dawn camp in Dichato, which is made up of 180 families – approximately 850 people. The team also visited Villa los Sauces, which has a number of temporary settlements, and the area of Coliumo, where many people are living in small makeshift camps along the side of the road.

In each of these places goods were given out, including food, water and some tents. Three volunteers, rotating every few days, are living in a tent in the New Dawn camp and there are plans to set up a community kitchen. Salvationists and volunteers have helped clear debris and have lifted people’s spirits with times of worship.

In an emergency services coordination meeting, it was decided that Concepción Corps would take responsibility for people in Dichato, Coliumo, Lota, Coronel and Hualqui. The corps at Hualpén will visit and document the communities of Las Salinas, Lenga, Talcahuano and Caleta Tumbes. Some of these areas are dealing with devastation from both the earthquake and the tsunami.

Major Raelton Gibbs (International Emergency Services) is now in Chile to assist and advise the local Salvation Army teams.

The Salvation Army has been shown great appreciation by those receiving help. Many are simply happy still to be alive. The Chilean Salvation Army continues to work and aid those in need by providing not only material necessities but also spiritual comfort.

To help support The Salvation Army’s ongoing relief efforts in Chile, visit our online donations page.

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Water Well from Years Past Put to Good Use

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sometimes our plans turn out to be even better than we could have ever expected.

More than five years ago Major Juan Gutierrez, a Salvation Army minister at Hualpencillo, Chile dug a well with which to water the lawns and gardens around the Salvation Army property. He never used it, but today the well is an important component of The Salvation Army’s response to last month’s devastating magnitude 8.8 earthquake.

The current corps officer, Major Abraham Marin, installed a pump for the well last week and there is now a source of clean water which can be used by those who are being helped by The Salvation Army. Hualpencillo is where The Salvation Army established the emergency disaster headquarters for the southern region of Chile.

Major Juan Carlos Alarcon, Divisional Commander of The Salvation Army’s Chile South Division, said, “I spoke with Major Gutierrez by telephone to advise him that members of his family who live in the [earthquake] zone are safe. At the same time, I thanked him for drilling the well, which is now helping hundreds of families. In Hualpencillo, we are not only providing food, but fresh spring water as well.”

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A “Very Deceiving Earthquake”

Monday, March 8, 2010

The massive tremors that shook Chile in late February have 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 Chileans. Many 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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Saturday, February 27, 2010

(International Headquarters, London, England) Following a devastating 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chile during the early hours of Saturday morning (27 February) Salvation Army emergency services were immediately mobilized to provide support and comfort and international financial assistance is already on the way.

Lt. Colonel Mike Caffull, the emergency services coordinator for The Salvation Army International Headquarters (IHQ) in London reports that IHQ has already agreed to provide financial assistance for the Chilean Salvationists initial relief response. He said assistance coordinated by the IHQ emergency team will also be provided regarding ongoing relief in the medium and long term.

Chief Secretary for The Salvation Army in South America West, Lt. Colonel F. Bradford Bailey says that the immediate response is to provide food, water, first aid kits, emergency packets, blankets, candles and other urgently required supplies. A recently arrived mobile canteen (a donation from the USA Southern Territory) is one of the key relief vehicles.

The earthquake epicenter was approximately 90 miles (150 kilometers) north-west of the city of Concepción in Southern Chile. Lt. Colonel Bailey says that this is approximately 350 miles (600 kilometers) from the capital of Santiago, ‘nevertheless, the quake was of a 7.0 magnitude in the Santiago metropolitan region’. He adds that people have flocked to the streets ‘as numerous aftershocks continue to pummel’ the country, severely affecting older buildings in the more historical areas of the larger cities.

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