By Andreas Lexer
After having spent four weeks in Haiti and one week in Chile following earthquakes in each country, the two emergencies offer important lessons in comparison.
In Haiti, the 7.0 magnitude earthquake on 12 January has caused severe damage. All that remains of the Cathedral are a few broken walls. The Presidential Palace is down, government ministries do not exist anymore.
Thousands of houses collapsed. They look like someone has smashed the top of a cake with the flat of a hand.
Hundreds of thousands of people were left buried under the rubble. Estimates speak about at least 200,000 thousand dead people in Haiti, but the figure could be much higher.
Residents of Concepcion, Chile camp out in the streets. Concepcion was devastated by the February 27th earthquake. Credit: Katie Orlinsky/Caritas
Available in Spanish
By Carlos Carvacho, Caritas Chile
A ‘Chile for Chile’ telethon has raised more than US $ 60 million for quake survivors.
The marathon 24 hour long programme is usually an annual event in Chile. It normally takes place in December and raises money for children in need and for disabled young people.
After the 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck near Concepcion on 27 February, organisers put together a show in one week. Caritas Chile participated in the event.
The show feature UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, plus international and national stars such as Shakira, Julio Iglesias, Ricardo Arjona, Juan Luis Guerra, Ricardo Montaner, Chayanne, Ricky Martin, Daddy Yankee and Calle 13.
Fernanda Herrera, 16, and other students prepare food kits that will be distributed to the victims of the 8.8 quake in Chile. Caritas Chile needs dry and canned food, such as rice and tuna, but also shelter materials for people who have lost their homes. "What we need most now is tents", says Juan Cristobal Precht, emergency relief coordinator of Caritas Chile. "But they should be completely different to the ones, that are distributed in Haiti at the moment. There it rains with 27 degrees, here it rains with minus 4 degrees." What he is looking into is tents with thick floors, and heated ones.