The United States will "stand with our Chilean friends," President Barack Obama said following the devastating 8.8 magnitude earthquake which struck Chile on February 27. President Obama expressed the United States' deepest condolences for the people of Chile and assured Chilean President Michelle Bachelet of the help and support of the United States.
Just days following President Obama's discussion with President Bachelet, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited Chile on March 2 to personally deliver initial supplies, and meet with President Bachelet and President-elect Pinera.
She lauded the strong leadership and the resilience and strength of the Chilean people and reassured the Chilean people that "the United States is ready to respond to the request that the government of Chile has made so that we can provide not only solidarity, but specific supplies that are needed to help you recover from the earthquake."
As with Haiti's devastating earthquake, the United States and U.S.-based non-governmental organizations are marshalling resources to assist Chile as the Chilean government makes its needs known. The United States is sending over 60 satellite phones, 8 water purification units, a mobile field hospital, and emergency shelter materials to Chile.
Our Embassy in Santiago is working closely with the Chilean government to coordinate additional assistance to include dialysis machines, generators, portable kitchens, and portable bridges.
The February 27, 8.8 magnitude earthquake was among the strongest ever recorded, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. At least 799 people were reportedly killed in the disaster. Hundreds more were injured, and over one and a half million homes have suffered damage.
As President Obama noted, "Chile is a close friend and partner of the United States," and the U.S. stands with the Chilean people in this terrible time.