Mar 3 2010

Early report indicates no CFCA fatalities

An early report from staff members in Chile indicates that there have been no fatalities among sponsored members. Our staff will continue to assess the situation of families impacted by the quake and send a more detailed report at a later date.

The report also said that a day center where aging members ate breakfast and lunch and took handicraft and art workshops is uninhabitable. As a result, the sponsored elderly will receive their nutritional benefits at another location and all workshops have been postponed until a new location is identified.

And finally, Sara Leiva, the Valparaiso project coordinator, said that sponsors with friends in Chile should keep in mind that letters both in and out of the country will be delayed. Some letters may arrive late or coated with earthquake dust. For now, the staffís top priority is to assess and respond to the current needs of the families.

For more information, read the full news story on our website.

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Mar 1 2010

CFCA staff are fine

The following is an email sent Saturday evening by Sara Leiva, CFCA coordinator in CFCA Project Valparaiso, Chile, to Henry Flores, director of Communications Center in El Salvador, about her first impressions of the 8.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Chile early Saturday morning.

Dear Henry,

Good afternoon. Thank you very much for sharing the worries and concerns of the CFCA community. We have power in some areas of Valparaiso, Chile, and I was able to send this email from my sister’s house.

It was 3:35 a.m., when the earthquake started. We are kind of used to this because Chile is an area with high possibilities of earthquakes; however, this earthquake kept going longer than usual. It was then when my husband, Luis, our son and I tried to secure ourselves in the safest section of our apartment.

The noise was terrible. In spite of having the lights off, they began turning on and off by themselves. Shortly after that, the power went off. From my home, you can usually see all of Valparaiso and ViÒa del Mar, but when I looked outside, everything was dark. The water was off, too. Everything was full of dust, and phones lines had collapsed.

Some time later, some of my CFCA colleagues started to phone me, because we could not call out. Praise God, they were fine. At this moment, I can say that my family is well, too. Praise God, the construction in Chile is strong and can withstand the full force of the earthquakes.

As soon as we had daylight, I went to the CFCA office. On my way to there, I saw some areas of Valparaiso. They are very affected because they are historical constructions and not as strong as present-day buildings. I saw houses collapsed and many destroyed walls. The CFCA office looks OK. When I entered, I saw everything on the floor, the walls have cracks and the place is full of dust.

One of the walls on the first floor have collapsed, and there was water coming out from somewhere. I contacted some firemen who were working in the area, and they helped me close it. The firemen told me that I needed to report the damages because some of the walls are loose and dangerous. They suggested that we evacuate the office building.

We immediately took the files and other important things to the houses of some of the staff members to keep them safe. We knew that in situations like this there is always a high risk of robbery. After that, I visited the house of some of the staff members: Luis Olivares, Olga and Mauricio. We need to contact a friend of ours who is an engineer to have him assess the damages we have in the office.

The most affected area is located south from Valparaiso, and at this moment, we are in alert of tsunamis. The islands in front of Valparaiso are being affected by the high waves.

Henry, we strongly believe that our CFCA families are very scared, without running water, power or communications, but we are hopeful that they are well. As soon as we receive more news, we will notify you. We hope to have a steadier channel of communication, because we wonít be able to go back to our office for some time.

Thank you for your concern. I will be in touch.

Sara

Read the news story

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Feb 27 2010

Walk2gether team aware of tsunami warnings

We received the following report this morning from Karen Allemang, the lead Walk2gether coordinator, about how Bob and the Walk2gether team are impacted by the tsunami warnings resulting from the 8.8 Chilean earthquake.

I called down to Nicaragua and spoke with Adolfo, who is with the walkers. He’s driving one of the vehicles and is the technical expert. The tsunami warning covers an extensive area including Central America. Aldolfo said that they had heard the news earlier this morning when they started walking. They are only 15 or 20 kilometers from the coast so they are keeping an ear to the news stations. They aren’t overly concerned for their safety, but are aware of the warning. I let him know that the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center shows that a tsunami has been generated but doesn’t specify where in the Pacific. He sends greetings to all.

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Feb 27 2010

Earthquake in Chile

Our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by the earthquake in Chile. We have contacted our Chilean staff, and will update you as we receive information from our project located in Valparaiso, Chile.

The Valparaiso project, the only CFCA project in Chile, is approximately 220 miles north of the epicenter. CFCA serves more than 5,000 sponsored children, youth and aging members through this project.

We ask that you join us in keeping all those affected by the earthquake in your prayers.

For more information about the earthquake in Chile, read this article from NPR.

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