I received the following news announcement from the Red Cross and thought this might be of interest to Palo Alto residents. We all need to be alert to the possibility of terribly destructive earthquakes here, but Peru has had a terrible experience in a remote area.
WASHINGTON, DC, August 16, 2007 Following the 7.9 magnitude earthquake that struck the central coast of Peru on Wednesday, August 15, the American Red Cross is positioning resources to assist their Peruvian counterparts as needed.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (International Federation), American Red Cross and other Red Cross national societies pre-position relief supplies in Panama for emergencies in the region. Two planes loaded with tents, plastic sheeting, blankets and jerrycans (for clean water) for 2,000 families will be sent from Panama to the city of Pisco on Thursday evening. Kathleen Martin, an American Red Cross disaster management delegate on loan to the International Federation's Pan American Disaster Response Unit in Panama, is actively involved in the earthquake response.
Immediately following the quake, the Peruvian Red Cross deployed disaster response workers to Pisco and Ica, the cities nearest the epicenter of the quake, to assess the damage and evaluate the needs. The International Federation mobilized three disaster management delegates and a logistician to support the Peruvian Red Cross relief efforts.
"The first impression of the team is that the damage is severe, especially to houses. It took them nearly seven hours to reach Pisco from Lima, a trip that normally takes two," said Giorgio Ferrario, International Federation Regional Representative for South America in Lima.
While the Peruvian Red Cross is still fully engaged in emergency relief operations, the American Red Cross is aware that more than 400,000 Peruvians live in the United States and may be concerned about loved ones. The American Red Cross, in coordination with the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, operates International Disaster Welfare Inquiry (IDWI) services after emergencies. Inquiries concerning U.S. citizens living or traveling in Peru are referred to the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services, at 1-888-407-4747 or 202 647-5225. Please visit www.redcross.org for updates on International Disaster Welfare Inquiries.
While the American Red Cross does not accept individually donated goods, the Red Cross is accepting financial donations for this disaster.
The Peruvian Red Cross and the American Red Cross are two of 185 national societies in the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. In emergencies the assistance of sister societies is requested through the International Federation in Geneva. The American Red Cross can assist by mobilizing trained workers, relief supplies and financial resources.
See www.redcross.org and www.ifrc.org for more information related to this response.