Earthquake Hits Chile, UMCOR responds

March 01, 2010

Methodists in Chile are beginning to assess damage after Saturday's massive earthquake. The death toll stands at upwards of 700 people.

The United Methodist Board of Global Ministries and its relief agency, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, were in communication with the church in Chile soon after the earthquake. UMCOR is making an initial $10,000 emergency grant to Chilean Methodists.

Bishop Joel Martinez, the board’s interim top executive, pledged to the Chilean bishop “our prayers, our solidarity, and our commitment to offer the resources and services of UMCOR to help the church respond.”

United Methodists have significant ties to the autonomous church in Chile. A Volunteers-in-Mission team from the denomination’s Wisconsin Annual (regional) Conference was doing construction work in Chile when the earthquake occurred and was reported to be safe.

UMCOR officials do not believe that relief supply kits are currently needed in Chile, but the agency has set up a special fund for financial support for relief work in Chile. Donations can be made online to Chile Emergency Advance #3021178.

Donations also can be sent by check to UMCOR and dropped in church offering plates or mailed to UMCOR, P.O. Box 9068, New York, NY 10087. Please indicate in the memo line of the check that it is for the Chile Emergency.

A church was one of hundreds of buildings damaged by the earthquake. Photo courtesy of UMNS

A Chilean man stands amidst the rubble caused by the weekend’s 8.8 earthquake. Photo courtesy of UMNS