In the evening of Wednesday 15th of August, the Peruvian coast was hit by a powerful earthquake (8.0-magnitude quake). According to local sources, over 500 people were killed and 1,000 were injured. The most affected cities are Chincha, Pisco and Ica, located around 200km south of the capital Lima.
MSF is organizing a team to assess the heavily hit areas in the south. A cargo charter will be leaving on the morning of the 18 August from Bogota, Colombia, with 5 tons of medical and non-medical supplies, including tents to set up dispensaries, and water and sanitation material.
Additional human resources have been sent from countries in the region where MSF works. A first team of two will assess the needs in the affected areas. A logistician is already on his way to Ica and a medical doctor will join him on Saturday.
One psychologist and one water and sanitation engineer will soon arrive to reinforce the team on the ground. Additional MSF doctors and nurses might also be sent from countries in the region.
The earthquake was also strongly felt in Lima. Early yesterday morning (16th August), a Lima-based MSF team immediately assessed the situation in the slum of Villa El Salvador, where MSF has been running an HIV/Aids project. As the project is currently being handed over to the Ministry of Health, very few MSF staff were there at the time of the earthquake. No major damage nor victims were reported in Villa El Salvador.