PERU Earthquake CARE Assessment Teams Report Damage and Increased Need

Poverty-fighting organization sets US$1 million fund raising goal for three-month response, while planning for longer-term rebuilding

LIMA, PERU (August 21, 2007) – CARE assessment teams in the communities hardest hit by Wednesday’s 8.0-magnitude earthquake along the south coast of Peru report that an estimated 30,000 families are without homes, and 80 percent of the buildings in Pisco and 25 percent in Ica have collapsed. Access to water, food and medical treatment is limited throughout the area. INDECI, the Peruvian National Civil Defense, has reported 650 dead and 1,000 wounded in Ica (Chincha and Pisco), Cañete and Huancavelica. Intense aftershocks up to 6.0-magnitude continue following this devastating quake.

CARE has set an initial US$1 million fund raising goal for relief efforts over the next three months to support some 2,000 families in the communities of Chincha Baja, Chinca Alta, El Carmen, Pueblo Nuevo and Tambo de Mora in the Department of Ica; and 1,000 families from 48 communities in Huaytará and Castrovirreynain the Department of Huancavelica.

In these communities, CARE and its local partners will provide clean water, food, blankets, tents, flashlights and tools. CARE assessment teams have already made initial distributions of in-stock relief supplies to 200 families in Chincha and Tambo de Mora, as well as distributed medical supplies through the regional health office in Ica.

The poverty-fighting organization will also support Peruvian Civil Defense Committees in their response, and has been requested to manage supply warehouses as it did following the earthquake in Arequipa in 2001. CARE is also responding to an official request from the Government to provide 150 coffins, to enable quick burial of the dead and reduce health risks.

As these short-term relief efforts continue, CARE will work in close coordination with government and other agencies to establish plans and additional funding needs to support communities in the rebuilding of homes and water systems.

“Until homes are rebuilt, 30,000 tents will be needed in the region,” says Milo Stanojevich, CARE director in Peru. “In rural areas, casualties are lower, but damage to adobe structures is widespread. Water must be brought in since water lines have been damaged and the lack of electricity makes wells that rely on pumps useless. Phone service is out in many areas and roads have collapsed or been obstructed by rockslides.”

In Tambo de Mora, southwest of Chincha, CARE assessment teams report that 90 percent of homes were affected and health posts have collapsed. In communities in Huaytará and Casrtorvirreyna further inland -- located in Huancavelica, the poorest department of Peru -- an estimated 40 percent of homes have collapsed and survivors have no access to clean water. Thirty transport buses blocked by landslides have compounded the serious shortage of water and food in the area. There are also reports of homes destroyed in the lower parts of Ayacucho department, and CARE is currently assessing needs in these areas.

About CARE in Peru: CARE began work in Peru in 1970 following a 42-second earthquake that killed 50,000 people and left 600,000 survivors in desperate need of food, clothing and shelter. Since then, CARE has expanded its programs in Peru to support long-term development needs and empower marginalized women through programs including health, education and microfinance. CARE projects in Peru benefit more than 500,000 of the poorest people in the country.

Media contact: Allen Clinton, +1-404-457-4635 / [email protected]