Massive Earthquake In Chile

In the early morning hours on Saturday, an enormous magnitude 8.8 earthquake struck about 200 miles south of Santiago Chile, collapsing buildings, destroying bridges, and spawning a tsunami that devastated low-lying costal towns. The ground shook as far away as Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1,800 miles to the east. This ranks as the fifth largest earthquake ever recorded.

Especially hard hit was the costal city of Penco, where our VGR office is located, and Concepcion. Communications are down so we do not have direct contact, but we have received word that Brother Jefte Quian (VGR Office Manager) and his family are fine. Neither his house nor his church were damaged. We are not sure about the other churches in Penco or the other churches in the area, but we know that there are some believers staying with Brother Jefte at this time. We are waiting for communication to be restored in that area to receive more information.

There are believers in Maule, Talca, and Chillian, near the epicenter of the quake. The lack of communication has prevented us from contacting them, so we do not know of their well being. We are trusting in the Lord that all is well.

Chile has a long history of massive earthquakes. According to modern records, the largest earthquake ever recorded, a magnitude 9.5, occurred in the southern part of that country in 1960.

Unlike the Haiti, this earthquake was located deep within the earth and hundreds of miles from the nearest population centers. Also unlike Haiti, Chile is a well-developed country that experiences frequent earthquakes and the infrastructure is usually designed to take quite a bit of shaking. With the deepness of the quake, the modern infrastructure of Chile, and the distance of the epicenter to major population centers, the damage and death toll will be much less than that of Haiti. Right now, the country is reporting about 700 deaths, but that will almost surely rise as communications with the devastated areas increase.

Please lift up the believers of Chile in your prayers. We will post more information as it comes in.