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2007-08-20 09:31:00

CARE Readies Emergency Response in Peru Following Earthquake

Atlanta, GA – In the wake of a massive 8.0-magnitude earthquake that rocked Peru last Wednesday evening, three CARE teams have been dispatched to affected areas to assess the damage and immediate needs of survivors. CARE staff has already distributed emergency supplies -- clean water, tools, medicine and blankets already on hand -- to some 200 affected families in Chincha and Tambo de Mora, two of the communities most severely affected by the earthquake.
 
The poverty-fighting organization expects to mount a full-scale response as more information is reported by its assessment teams.
 
“This has brought back a lot of bad memories for Peruvians who survived the quake of 1970,” says Jay Goulden, CARE’s assistant country director in Peru. “On Wednesday there were two huge peaks that rolled the ground all around us. And aftershocks continued to shake everything throughout last night and today. Many of the houses as well as the health centers are severely damaged and people are sleeping in the streets.”
 
According to Goulden, the capital city of Lima was spared severe damage but there are a lot of coastal areas that haven’t yet been reached as the Pan-American Highway and roads leading to highland communities are blocked by landslide debris. Most phone lines are down.
 
“Until roads open up south of Lima it’s hard to determine the extent of the response needed at this point,” Goulden says. “CARE is preparing for the worst but hoping for a miracle.”
 
According to initial reports, there were about 450 fatalities and an estimated 1,500 injuries. Hardest hit was the coastal city of Pisco, about 160 miles southeast of Lima, which is rumored to be 80% destroyed.
 
Until assessments are completed, CARE encourages donors who want to help to contribute to CARE’s Emergency Response Fund. For more information, visit www.care.org.
 
About CARE in Peru: CARE began work in Peru in 1970 following a 42-second earthquake that killed 50,000 people and left 600,000 survivors in desperate need of food, clothing and shelter. Since then, CARE has expanded its programs in Peru to support long-term development needs and empower marginalized women through programs including health, education and microfinance. CARE projects in Peru benefit more than one million of the poorest people in the country.

Photo Credits: CARE/Marilu Perez

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