Peru donates aid to Chile following magnitude 8.8 earthquake

Presidential Cabinet Chief Javier Velásquez said Monday Peru is planning to send three planes to transport health professionals and humanitarian aid to assist neighboring Chile following the massive magnitude 8.8 earthquake that struck that country early Saturday morning. The planes will also be used to repatriate Peruvians living in Chile who have been displaced.

Velásquez said two Hercules airplanes from Peru’s Air Force will transport aid that was requested by Chile’s government, state news agency Andina reported. The aid will include a field clinic, tents, and blankets. A third airplane will transport medical personnel.

President Alan García is planning to travel to Chile on Tuesday to supervise the deliverance of the aid and assistance to Peruvian citizens living in Chile. The Permanent Commission of Peru’s Congress approved García’s trip in a 22-to-2 vote on Monday.

Velásquez said Peru’s government has provided its embassy in Chile with an additional 1 million soles, about $350,000, to support some 500 Peruvian displaced by the earthquake.

“We have provided additional resources to our embassy in Santiago to help displaced Peruvians that live in Chile,” said Velásquez. “The diplomatic headquarters will buy food and everything else that is required for the 500 people affected who have been registered.”

The epicentre of Saturday’s quake occurred offshore about 200 miles south of Santiago and 70 miles from Concepcion, Chile’s second largest city where widespread looting has broken out. At least 700 people have been killed and 2 million displaced, daily La República reported.

The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami alert for Chile and Peru Saturday morning and later extended it to other Pacific nations. The warning was cancelled on Sunday.

The United States Geological Survey said that between Saturday and Monday afternoon there have been 121 aftershocks of magnitude 5.0 or greater, including eight with magnitudes 6.0 or larger.

Coastal Chile has a history of large earthquakes. Since 1973, there have been 13 quakes of magnitude 7.0 or greater.

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