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IFRC to Offer US$279,000 for Relief Efforts in Quake-hit Chile

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The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said on Sunday that it would release 300,000 Swiss francs (US$279,000) from its emergency funds to help the relief efforts in quake-hit Chile.

According to Alberto Monguzzi of the IFRC's Central and South American regional office, a disaster assessment team would leave Panama City for Chile on Sunday night.

Monguzzi said the team will join the Chilean Red Cross in assessing which of the affected areas needed help most.

As it was still not known yet whether landings and takeoffs had resumed or not at the Santiago airport, the team would head first for Mendoza, Argentine, before traveling on by land to Santiago, the capital of Chile, he said.

In order to respond to emergencies, the IFRC has already set up relief warehouses in Panama, Dubai and other regions, with international relief teams standing by.

A massive 8.8-magnitude quake rocked Chile early Saturday morning, leaving at least 708 people dead. More than 2 million people were affected by the temblor and more than 1.5 million buildings were damaged or destroyed.

(Xinhua News Agency March 2, 2010)

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