First MSF team in Chile assessing earthquake damage - more staff en route

The first members of an exploratory team from Médecins San Frontières (MSF) have already arrived in Santiago, the capital city of Chile, in order to assess the needs of victims after an 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck the country early Saturday morning. Additional MSF staff are en route. MSF is already in contact with Chilean government authorities to coordinate the relief effort. The first team will travel from Santiago to the Maule region, south of the capital, to assess the situation in that area, which was hit hard by the earthquake. The MSF teams plan to focus their work in the regions close to the epicenter, but prioritize peripheral villages and areas where aid takes longer to arrive. According to the first reports, coastal areas far from the principal urban centers seem to be among those more affected by the earthquake and are also the most difficult to reach. The first MSF team, some members of which are already on the ground while others are still traveling, is comprised of doctors, logisticians, and a nurse coming from Argentina, Bolivia, Panama, and Mexico.