On Wednesday night, an Earthquake hit the south of Peru, reaching 8.0 degrees on the Richter scale according to the US Geological Survey. At this time, official figures indicate about 500 people have died, with 1000 injured, 80 thousand affected and around 12 thousand homes destroyed in the hardest-hit regions of Chincha, Pisco and Ica. International support has been flowing ever since, but relief efforts have been slowed because access to the region has been compromised. An air bridge has been established between Lima and Pisco for donations and supplies to be flown in.
In Lima, old neighbourhoods with houses built of adobe and quincha, fragile materials, have been crumbling ever since the earthquake. Although tsunami warning were called off, rising sea tides affected the seaside area of La Punta, flooding several poorer settlements in the area. South of Lima, the district of Cañete was hard-hit, with about 3 thousand homes being affected, and people spending the night in the streets for fear of further aftershocks.
In the critical Ica region, however, things are even worse, with the population turning to looting in the face of diminishing supplies. Lima has begun an intensive drive for donations of different kinds of supplies, including food, water, medicines, clothes, blankets, flashlights, batteries, utensils, tools, tents, and so on. Donations are also being taken for blood in several national hospitals, as well as monetary donations through several bank accounts (account numbers and donation locations can be found on this other post in Spanish). Different voluntary programs are organising themselves as you read this to provide relief efforts and support at the region.
International access has been established for donations at some places:
- The General Consulate of Peru in Toronto has established a bank account for people who wish to collaborate with the victims of the earthquake in Peru. It’s account Sismo Perú 2007 #06702 of the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).
- The General Consulate of Peru in Washington is taking donations and channeling help. For more information you can call (001) 202-462-1081 / 202-462-1084 y 462-1085.
- You can donate to the Red Cross International Response Fund. The Red Cross are actively supporting relief and rescue efforts in the affected areas.
- Oxfam is taking donations to support the victims of the earthquake.
- Through the Network for Good blog you can donate to several charities working with those affected: Care, CHF International, Direct Relief International, MADRE, Partners of the Americas, Save the Children, World Vision, UNICEF.