CARICOM stands ready to support earthquake-hit Chile
Even as the region focuses attention on storm-hit Dominica, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is extending a hand of support to the South American nation of Chile following the death and destruction caused by a massive earthquake last week.
CARICOM Secretary General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque offered the support in a message of condolence sent to the country’s president Michelle Bachelet.
The 8.3 magnitude quake that struck Wednesday night left at least 13 people dead, four missing, and forced more than a million people living along the coastline to evacuate their homes after the quake triggered a tsunami. Officials say more than 9,000 people are now homeless.
“Chileans are a resolute and determined people who will rise and overcome this challenge and rebuild their lives, and the areas devastated by this natural disaster. The Caribbean Community stands in support of the people of Chile at this time,” LaRocque said.
“We offer our condolences to the bereaved families and wish a speedy recovery to the injured and hope that the rebuilding process will restore the affected areas in a relatively short time.”
The CARICOM secretary general noted that the casualties were limited despite the strength of the earthquake, due in large measures to the level of preparedness.
It is against that background that he commended the Chile government for being a global leader in disaster preparedness and response.
He added that the people of Chile must also be commended for “their adherence to the regulations and procedures established”, which mitigated the effects of the disaster.