Here is the most recent update we have received from the Swanson's in Santiago Chile. These are the missionaries we worked with while in Chile 5 years ago and whom we visited last year....
Here is the latest update we received from the Swansons, Missionaries in Santiago that Joel and I worked with while in Chile....
Dear friends and supporters:
1. We’re fine after Saturday morning’s earthquake in Chile . We have some minor damage to our house (mainly cracks in some walls and some furniture fell, but the house is good and it’s more a matter of cleaning up. In general, our neighborhood is fine, too. Since coming to Chile in Nov 1993, although we’ve experienced tremors over the years, this was our first real earthquake—somewhere around 3:45 a.m. Chile time Saturday morning. It lasted for approximately 3+ minutes, was pretty strong (as our two-story house was shaking and moving quite a bit), and there was a lot of noise. Afterwards we went through the house not knowing exactly what to expect.
2. The quake in Santiago was around 8 on the Richter scale. The center of the quake was approx. 35-40 miles north of Concepción (6 hours south of Santiago ) and registered around 9 on the R. scale. There are several parts of Santiago still without electricity (we were one of them up to this afternoon, but a neighbor passed us his electricity yesterday afternoon so that we could plug in our fridge. At the same time yesterday, the cable came back on, giving us phone and e-mail access, so we are now able to E-mail you that we are fine.
3. The damage around Concepción is quite extensive, with roughly 700 people dead at this time in that general part of the country (the 7th and 8th regions). Whole towns are wiped out and towns near the ocean have had to deal with tidal waves as well. PLEASE KEEP PRAYING for people in that part of Chile , without food or water or electricity. (Of course we realize how much, much worse was the disaster in Haiti ) We have just today started having success in reaching our friends via phone and internet in that part of the country, including Willy and Karina (who make the marble figures we sell in the States to help support the ministry with kids), Luis Alberto (a church member who is with his parents there right now, Carolina (a church member who goes to the university there), and the mother of another member who lives near the epi-center of the earthquake. So far, all of them are fine, but without water, food, and electricity. There is also a lot of looting and purposeful destruction in Concepción and other areas, where the government has declared “martial law”.
4. In Santiago , they hope to re-open the airport (it sustained substantial damage to the main tenminal) today or tomorrow, and the subway too. The main roads to the south of Chile have been heavily damaged in spots, as well, with some bridges out, etc.
5. We, as a church, in today’s service identified some good, basic ways (in addition to praying) that we can help others, and some will be able to travel south the 10th of March to help. Janine is also going in two weeks to see what she and some others can do. We’ve been able to encourage and pray with neighbors, too. Mike and Tabi have contacted IDES (they know its president) and we will be sending a small team to southern Chile with some staple items to see what more we can do.
6. We’ll be sending out March’s Prayer Letter soon. One praise is that we are due to receive the first child in the children’s home this week. She’s an 11-year old girl. PTL!!
We know that you may have other questions, but at least we’ve answered some of the basic ones. Feel free to E-mail with those other questions. Schools were due to open for their fall semester this week, and we don’t know at this time if they’ll wait another week or not. Many stores, etc. are still closed to put things back on the shelves, etc. and others still lack electricity. Chile ’s army just swung “into action” today to help protect and help.
Thanks again for your prayers!
Love and blessings, in an always-there, “non-earthquakable” Jesus,
Jack and Janine