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Chile: Mobile Red Cross teams help restore contact between family members

08-03-2010 News Release 10/35

Santiago de Chile (ICRC / Chilean Red Cross) – A week has passed since the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Chile, yet families both in and out of the country are still without news of their loved ones.

   
  ©ICRC/D. Rojas / cl-e-00020    
 
Tirúa, Bio Bio region.    
      

Over the last few days, three mobile teams from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Chilean Red Cross have been visiting the worst affected places, including Dichado, Talcahuano, Tubul and Llico, in the Bio Bio region. The Tumbes Peninsula was another of their destinations, where inhabitants had been forced to flee their homes to escape the post-quake tsunami and are now camping in the hills along the coastline.

More than 220 people made use of the satellite telephones provided by the teams to help restore contact between separated family members. It was an emotional and nerve-racking time for all, and a great relief for the 105 who were successful in reaching their loved ones.

Although landline and mobile telecommunications services are beginning to return to normal, some people are still finding it difficult to communicate with distant family members. The ICRC, in cooperation with the Chilean Red Cross, has set up a website to help those both in and out of Chile who have lost contact with a loved one, accessible at: www.icrc.org/familylinks  

    

    

  For further information, please contact:
  Sandra Lefcovich, ICRC Brasilia, currently in Chile, tel: +562 783 180 17 or +55 61 81 22 01 19
  Silvia Santander Andrade, Chilean Red Cross, tel: +562 777 14 48
  Marçal Izard, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 79 217 32 24
  For more about the general response of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent to the disaster in Chile,
  visit www.ifrc.org