CHILE – It has been several months since unusually heavy thunderstorms and torrential rain hit communities in Northern Chile including Copiaco, Chañaral, Caldera, Tierra Amarilla, Diego de Almagro, Alto del Carmen, Freirina, Huasco and Vallenar in the Atacama region. The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) continues to provide urgent care and relief to the hundreds of thousands afflicted by this catastrophe.
ADRA is working in partnership with the National Office of Emergency of the Interior Ministry, Red Cross, Municipality of Copiapo’ and local volunteers in the region to restore water, electricity, shelter, hygiene education, food and non-food items.
According to the Chilean government, the floods affected more than 30,000 people. As of March 31, 31 deaths and 49 missing persons have been reported and more than 3,000 people are being housed in emergency shelters.
Flash floods swept down valleys, cutting off villages, destroying structures, and carrying vehicles for miles. The rain brought about a lot of mud that cut off access to roads and trapped people in their cars and houses. Although the mud has since been removed from these areas, much of the population is taking to the streets with masks and emergency services to prevent bronchopulmonary diseases.
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) International is the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief. For more information, visit ADRA.org.