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$110,000 response to Red Cross earthquake appeal

www.redcross.org.nz
17 January 2001

UPDATE 3: $110,000 response to Red Cross earthquake appeal

The New Zealand Red Cross has raised $110,000 so far in response to Saturday’s massive earthquake in El Salvador, with $100,000 received from the Government and $10,000 from public donations.

“The response from the New Zealand public is very pleasing and will definitely help to relieve the suffering of the victims of this terrible disaster,” said New Zealand Red Cross, Operations Manager, Andrew McKie.

He said the total international response to the appeal by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has reached almost NZ$3milliion.

Red Cross rescue teams in El Salvador are now concentrating efforts on the town of Comasagua, 28 kms east of San Salvador, which has been cut off since the earthquake. The town of 18,000 people has been affected by landslides and an unspecified number of houses have been destroyed there.

Red Cross workers have already distributed emergency relief items - including blankets, kitchen sets, hygiene items and plastic sheeting - to more than 4,500 families.

Large field tents have been provided to damaged hospitals to shelter the high numbers of earthquake injured. Across the country, six Red Cross teams are currently carrying out an in-depth needs assessment which will result in a more detailed appeal for the survivors.

"More than 1,000 Red Cross volunteers went into action within minutes of Saturday's earthquake and have been working around the clock since. The Salvadorean Red Cross ambulance service and blood bank have also been working non stop. Although fatigue is setting in for the volunteers, efforts continue tirelessly " says Mr McKie.

The latest death toll is 594, with more than 1,200 missing and almost 1,900 injured. About 18,000 people have been evacuated and more than 25,000 houses are reported to be damaged or destroyed.

New Zealanders can call 0900-33 200 to make an automatic $20 donation, or post a donation to Freepost Red Cross, PO Box 12-140, Wellington.

For further information, please contact:
 Andrew McKie, Operations Manager, New Zealand Red Cross, Ph:04-472-3750.
 Regional Information Delegate, Xavier Castellanos: Mobile Ph. + 503 848 4545 / +503 866 3997 / +503 866 3996.
 Denis McClean, Head of Media Service, Geneva. Ph: +41 22 730 4428 / Mobile: +41 79 217 3357.

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