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CRS Accepts Donations to Aid Chile

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The Catholic Church in Chile is coordinating aid to victims in the wake of the magnitude 8.8 earthquake that rocked the country on February 27. More than 700 people lost their lives and thousands of others lost all their possessions.

Catholic Relief Services is accepting donations to help those affected by the powerful quake, working with Caritas Chile, the social service arm of the Catholic Church in the country. The Caritas agency is providing food and other emergency assistance to the impacted areas, many of them in rural part of the country. Caritas Chile Director Lorenzo Figueroa tells CRS the depth of the catastrophe will require the support of Caritas members in Latin America and worldwide.

Father Waldo Alfaro, head of the Caritas Chile office in Linares, told Catholic News Service, “The entire coast was hard-hit but this is an area where the poorest rural residents live.” While many of the houses and buildings in the major cities in recent decades were built to sustain earthquakes, Chileans living in poor rural areas reside in adobe houses that collapsed. Some three dozen churches and chapels in the Linares Diocese alone were damaged or destroyed, along with two orphanages.

If you would like to donate to help with the emergency relief and long-term recovery efforts in Chile, contributions are being securely accepted online at http://crs.org/chile/maule-quake.cfm.