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Chile quake: British Red Cross launches appeal

One of the largest earthquake’s ever recorded has struck Chile, killing hundreds and affecting around two million.

The earthquake, measuring 8.8 on the Richter scale, struck Chile on 27 February 2010. Hundreds of people were killed and the Chilean government estimates around two million more are affected by the disaster.

People are being assisted with search and rescue and medical assistance, as well as basic amenities like water, sanitation and shelter, however the needs are great.

The Chilean Red Cross is already working on the ground in partnership with emergency services, carrying out search and rescue operations and damage assessments, and giving medical assistance where necessary.

It said it has already released £50,000 from its Disaster Fund to help with the initial response, but more will be needed as the true extent of the disaster becomes clear.

Vital infrastructure, including roads, bridges, hospitals, and water and electricity systems, has been badly damaged. The government estimates around 1.5 million houses were damaged by the quake.

There have so far been more than 33 aftershocks, many between 5.5 and 6.5 on the Richter scale.

It was the first major earthquake to hit the south American mainland since a 8.0 magnitude quake hit Peru in 2007.

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