South-central Chile residents shuddered in the wake of a tornado that swept through Los Angeles, followed by a waterspout near Talcahuano and Concepción on Thursday, May 30, and Friday, May 31. Nearly 600 homes were affected, according to the latest balance made by the Minister of Housing in Chile, Guillermo Rolando. The Adventist Church in the region immediately rallied to action through the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Chile.
Several volunteers from the Bio-Bio region, including young people who participate in the One Year in Missionproject, accepted the challenge to help those affected in the best possible way.
"We are trying to help people feel supported, to feel accompanied, to feel that we are with them and we are doing our best to help, to manage,” said Elizabeth Sen, one of the ADRA Chile volunteers.“We’ve helped those whose roof has blown away, or who have debris in their homes.”
For its part, the provincial government of Concepción thanked the humanitarian entity, who were the first volunteers certified to arrive in the area before the emergency. "We appreciate the work that ADRA is doing here in Talcahuano, the work that is communicating directly with the municipality in order to raise aid to people who have suffered this meteorological catastrophe we have had, and that eventually we can get out of this emergency quickly, " said Robert Contreras Reyes, provincial governor of Concepción.
In addition, ADRA Chile collaborated with the National Emergency Office of the Ministry of the Interior (ONEMI) in the survey of aerial and land photogrammetric information in the city of Talcahuano.
It should be noted that the team set several objectives for the distribution of humanitarian aid including debris removal, emergency construction, information and security supplies, and a family sanitation kit for affected people.
"We have already finished and are grateful for the work that was done: debris removal, roofing replacement, and the delivery of hygiene kits that our volunteers managed to do, especially associated with churches and schools. Thanks for all the effort and accompaniment in this great adventure of solidarity, "said Jaime Carrillo, chaplain of the Adventist agency.
"We were here from the key moment since this tornado occurred in the city of Talcahuano. We deployed with the entire agency; more than 70 volunteers have been active since the same day of the tragedy and we will continue to work as well here. This does not end here. Many organizations leave and what characterizes ADRA is to stay, to stay when everyone has left. We hope in God that we can reach many people, helping them and that the Church can become part of them, showing them the love of God also," said Rodrigo Cárcamo, director of ADRA Chile.
If you wish to volunteer for ADRA, go to the website www.adra.cl and be part of this human team, prepared and trained to respond to emergencies and contribute to the community development of the country.