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.”
(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.