ADRA Speeds Relief to Peru Following
Massive Quake; Church, School Damaged in Ica
BY ADVENTIST REVIEW staff
ne week after an August 15 earthquake killed more than 500, including four Seventh-day Adventist Church members, and wounded more than1,600 in southern Peru, relief supplies from the Adventist Development and Relief Agency, ADRA, continue to reach cities in the affected area. The cities of Pisco and Cincha were among the latest receiving new supplies, ADRA said.
The Adventist agency was among the first on the ground in Peru assessing survivors’ needs, after a massive, 8.0-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast, 90 miles southeast of Lima, at 6:40 p.m. local time on the evening of August 15. ADRA said it initiated an immediate response to meet the most urgent needs of survivors in the earthquake-hit Ica province, including emergency medical care, water, food, tents, and blankets.
Four Adventist Church members in the city of Ica were known to have died in the earthquake, a statement from the South American region reported on August 17; 400 members homes were also reported destroyed in the quake. The Adventist church and school in the city of Ica were also damaged in the temblor.
ECONOMY DESTROYED: A local man surveys demolished storefronts in Chincha, Peru, one of the hard-hit cities after an 8.0 Richter scale earthquake struck the Andean nation on Aug. 14, killing more than 500. ADRA Peru is among several relief organizations helping victims there. [Photo: ADRA Peru]
At the same time, Maranatha Volunteers International, an Adventist Christian organization that constructs urgently-needed buildings around the world, said construction materials commonly used in Peru -- including plywood, plastic and mud bricks -- seldom withstand natural disasters such as earthquakes. Five Maranatha-constructed church structures in the affected region are lending shelter to families who lost their homes during the earthquake, the group said in a news release.
“The pain of the Peruvian families reaches us deeply,” said Erton Köhler, South American regional Adventist church president. “We will pray as a Church, and we will mobilize ADRA and all Adventist aid sectors so that assistance is sent to the devastated regions.”
According to the latest reports issued by Peruvian Civil Defense authorities and received at press time, the massive earthquake killed at least 510 people and left more than 1,600 injured throughout the coastal region.
The Peruvian government has declared a state of emergency in Ica, a coastal province located 165 miles south of Lima, and the most heavily affected region, with hundreds killed, many homes and buildings completely demolished, and downed power lines.
El Comercio, a Lima newspaper, reports 70 percent of the city of Pisco has been destroyed by the quake. The newspaper says hospitals in Ica are overwhelmed with casualties. Both Ica and the neighboring district of Canete have declared emergencies. The newspaper says the injured are spilling into corridors and any free space they can find in Ica hospitals, quoting a regional hospital director as making an urgent request for tents, medicines, and helicopters to airlift patients who are seriously hurt.
Authorities in Ica have turned the local stadium into a camp, El Comercio reports, while parks in the city of Pisco have become makeshift shelters.
In order to provide the most immediate and direct assistance for survivors, ADRA is accepting financial donations, which will be used to purchase additional emergency response supplies in Peru.
-- With reporting from Nadia McGill, ADRA; ANN, and the SAD