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Cablegate: Mgci01: Chile Earthquake Monitoring Group

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 STATE 018653

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AEMR ASEC CASC KFLO MARR PREL PINR AMGT CI
SUBJECT: MGCI01: CHILE EARTHQUAKE MONITORING GROUP
SITUATION REPORT NO. 3

STATE 00018653 001.2 OF 002

DEATH TOLL TOPS 700, GOC ASSESSING DAMAGES
------------------------------------------
1. (SBU) President Bachelet announced more than 700
people have been killed in the quake, report the media.
All official Americans have been accounted for, confirms
Embassy Santiago. Seventeen locally-engaged staff and
36 contract employees remain unaccounted for due to poor
communications. Many Embassy families are still without
electricity, reliable telephone service, or internet
access. Land lines in the Santiago area remain
irregular. Aftershocks continue but are diminishing in
intensity and are moving northward. The media is
relaying Chilean ONEMI (FEMA-equivalent) information.
The government requests the population remain in place.
Facebook is offering assistance in public outreach.
Communications with Concepcion, Talca and the Juan
Fernandez Islands remain erratic. Concepcion airport
will be closed for a week. The main highway south from
Concepcion is out due to a collapsed bridge, and land
routes to the area have been damaged and bridges are
down. Some looting has begun; police are on patrol to
prevent further lawlessness. The government is
providing food and water via helicopter.
(MGCIO1/Embassy Santiago telcon, Embassy Santiago
SitRep#4, MGCIO1/R e-mail, CNN en Espaqol)

STATUS OF EMBASSY/AMCITS
------------------------
2. (SBU) Six of the seven Fulbrighters in-country
have been accounted for; the Fulbrighter in Concepcion
has not yet been located. The Embassy will be open for
limited services on March 1. Visa interviews will be
cancelled. No American deaths have yet been reported.
Embassy Santiago will maintain a 24-hour switchboard
with bilingual operators at 56-2-330-3000.
(MGCIO1/Embassy Santiago telcon, Embassy Santiago
SitRep#4)

FOREIGN ASSISTANCE
------------------
3. (SBU) The Chile Earthquake Monitoring Group is in
contact with the U.S. military, HHS and USAID/OFDA to
confirm availability of medical assistance, including
field hospitals, as appropriate. An official request
for a field hospital has been made by the Chilean
government. The EU has offered 3 million Euros in
disaster assistance and search and rescue, which the
government has so far declined. Germany and Puerto Rico
also have made offers of assistance. (MGCIO1/Embassy
Santiago telcon, MGCIO1 e-mail)

SANTIAGO AIRPORT STATUS/OPERATIONS
----------------------------------
4. (SBU) Santiago airport remains closed to
everything but military flights. International

STATE 00018653 002.2 OF 002


commercial flights likely will not resume until March
5. The government is considering using airports in
northern Chile for international flights; however, those
airports are not equipped with customs and immigration
systems. The Embassy intends to send staff to Santiago
airport to assist American citizens gathering there to
understand Spanish-language public service announcements
and to inform them of lodging availability.
(MGCIO1/Embassy Santiago telcon, Embassy Santiago
SitRep#4)

TSUNAMI DEATHS
--------------
5. (SBU) Six people are dead and 10 are missing after
a wave hit the inhabited portions of the Juan Fernandez
Islands. Chile has confirmed that two American citizens
unaccounted for are not among the dead or missing.
(MGCIO1/Embassy Santiago telcon)
CLINTON

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