Surfer's help needed to help Chile after massive earthquake

March 2, 2010 | Environment

Earthquake in Chile: your help is needed

A massive earthquake and tsunami hit Chile this weekend. The earthquake epicenter was just 5km from Save The Waves Coalition's Maule Itata Coastkeeper office and is where Save The Waves' environmental advocacy efforts are focused.

The earthquake and tidal wave damage to the area where Save The Waves works is devastating. Friends, colleagues and neighbors in coastal Chile need everyone's help now more than ever before.

The destruction to infrastructure is severe, and includes massive damage to structures, drinking water systems, power, transportation, and communication. This means that aid and relief in the next few weeks will be crucial to help save lives.

Because Save The Waves Coalition's ongoing environmental work is in the exact same area as the disaster, the organization is uniquely positioned to help direct humanitarian relief efforts in the region.

Save The Waves is organizing a focused relief effort to this hardest hit region of Chile, including a humanitarian aid trip this week with a team that includes doctors, medics, and other relief workers. The organization is now accepting donations to support travel to the region to distribute water filters, medical treatment and supplies, local relief supplies, and camping gear to the affected coastal areas.

The primary focus of the mission will be to help provide clean drinking water to the tens of thousands of Chileans who are currently without water. Save The Waves is partnering with Waves for Water to distribute water filters for clean drinking water, and hopes to get up to 1,000 filters - enough for 10,000 people to get clean water - distributed in coastal Chile during the first week, with much more to follow.

Waves for Water has extensive experience in providing clean water for disaster relief, and successfully distributed over 4,000 water filter systems to Haiti in the wake of the recent earthquake there, providing clean drinking water for up to 40,000 people.

Patagonia Inc, the outdoor apparel company, has stepped up and provided significant support for this initiative. All donations to Save The Waves for Chile earthquake relief will go directly to humanitarian work on the ground in the devastated regions near the quake and tsunami epicenter.

Humanitarian aid efforts will be focused in the more rural coastal areas, between the major cities, where help and aid will generally be less available. Since Save The Waves is a small and nimble organization with years of experience in coastal Chile, support for this effort will be extremely effective, with no bureaucratic filters, no delays, just pure aid for the coastal communities that are in dire need.

Source: Save The Waves