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ShelterBox responds to Chile earthquake

Posted: March 1, 2010 1:55 p.m.
Updated: March 1, 2010 5:00 p.m.
Lakewood Ranch, FL - International disaster relief charity ShelterBox is responding to the 8.8-magnitude Chilean earthquake. An initial ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) is currently preparing to mobilize with two SRT members from the UK and one from the US.

The quake struck southern Chile at 0643 GMT on Saturday, February 26, and triggered a tsunami alert in large parts of Latin America and beyond. It caused buildings to collapse in the Chilean capital, Santiago, 200 miles from the epicenter. Hundreds of people are feared dead while thousands of people have been left homeless.

"ShelterBox will respond quickly where needed, as the unfolding news becomes clearer and the scale of need is confirmed. A ShelterBox team is preparing to mobilize at the earliest opportunity. Our thoughts go out to the people who have been affected by this disaster," said Lasse Petersen, ShelterBox General Manager.

Chile's second-largest city, Concepcion, just 75 miles from the epicenter, is likely to be the worst affected, with more than 200,000 people living along the Bio Bio river. The initial earthquake was followed by two aftershocks measuring 6.9 and 5.5 in magnitude. A tsunami warning has been extended across the Pacific rim, including most of Central and South America and as far as Australia and Antarctica.

The quake is Chile's largest in 25 years and Chile's president Michelle Bachelet has declared a 'state of catastrophe' in the country.

"ShelterBox has a critical and focused role in reacting quickly when disaster strikes, and to get the highest quality aid package to those who need it," said Veronica Brandon Miller, Executive Director of ShelterBox USA.

About ShelterBoxUSA
ShelterBoxUSA is the US affiliate of an international disaster relief charity specializing in emergency shelter provision. Humanitarian aid is delivered in iconic green ShelterBoxes. Each one contains a disaster relief tent for up to 10 people, a stove, blankets and other items essential for survival. ShelterBox responds to disaster as quickly as possible with the aim of helping the people who are most in need.

Every box is individually numbered and can be tracked by donors. Each box costs $1000, including the cost of all materials, packing, storage, transport worldwide and distribution to the needy.

All aid delivery is undertaken by international volunteer ShelterBox Response Team members who have carried out extensive training with ShelterBox. We are often able to get aid where it is needed faster than any other organization.

An initiative of Rotarian Tom Henderson (Order of the British Empire), a former Royal Navy search and rescue diver, ShelterBox started in 2000 as a project of the Rotary Club of Helston-Lizard, Cornwall. ShelterBox, now the largest Rotary Club project in the world, has responded to disasters including the Haiti Earthquake, Indian Ocean Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar (Burma). In 2010, ShelterBox is celebrating its tenth anniversary.

Public donations are vital to ShelterBox USA's continuing work.


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