Red Cross ready to assist victims of Chile earthquake - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Red Cross ready to assist victims of Chile earthquake

CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - First, a 7-magnitude earthquake levels Port-au-Prince, Haiti, injuring and killing hundreds of thousands. Then, a much stronger quake hits off the coast of Chile. As the death toll rises, local American Red Cross chapters like the one in Cedar Rapids are doing their part to help.

"Our phones have been ringing, people are calling, wanting to know how they can help. We've also had folks calling looking for loved ones," said Angela Jordan, director of the Grant Wood Area Chapter.

Although the Red Cross has donated $50,000 dollars from their international response fund, Jordan says the Chilean government has not yet requested international assistance.

"The government in that particular country would indicate that they need additional assistance outside of maybe their regional areas," Jordan explained. It's only when a disaster-torn country asks for that level of help, that the American Red Cross becomes more actively involved.

"Typically, what we do in an international case, is assist with fundraising so that people can direct some resources to the affected areas."

Jordan says the Chilean earthquake may not warrant the same level of assistance that was needed Haiti, as Chile is better prepared for earthquakes.

While the Red Cross is prepared to offer more assistance to the Chilean government on an international level, the Grant Wood Area Chapter is preparing for potential spring flooding here in Eastern Iowa. Jordan says the chapter's trailers and storage rooms are packed with whatever they need to deal with a busy season.

"We're going to need, I believe, the supplies we have here on a local level this spring, when the flooding hits."

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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