By Santiago, Chile Relief Team (Originally in Spanish)
On March 13, 2015, a forest fire broke out in the beautiful seaport city of Valparaíso, Chile, destroying more than 500 hectares. Approximately 4,500 people were evacuated from the area, 32 were injured, including 19 firefighters, and one woman lost her life.
After hearing news of the fire, Supreme Master Ching Hai asked our local Association members to help those in need and offered funds for reimbursement.
We quickly assessed the situation and found that the government had already addressed the needs of the people affected. Also, we were relieved to learn that, compared to previous fires, far fewer of our animal friends had been injured so fewer were hospitalized.
With CLP 206,995 (US$325) of funds from Master remaining from previous Chilean relief work, and CLP 127,491 (US$ 200) contributed by our Santiago Center Association members, we purchased relief supplies for the animals.
Then, on March 15, we delivered the provisions to the Santo Tomás Veterinary Hospital. The items included gauze dressing, burn patches, antibiotic eye drops, general antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medicine, pain- and fever-reducing medicine, and other medical supplies, as well as puppy, dog and cat food and cat litter. We also delivered medical supplies and dog and cat food to Dr. Paola Carmona, a veterinarian who was caring for the injured animal friends of Valparaíso free of charge. In addition, we provided a 15-kilogram bag of dog food for a mother dog called “Black” who had heroically hidden her nine puppies a meter deep in the ground to protect them from harm during the fire.
Later in the week, we returned to deliver relief supplies to families that had offered their homes as temporary shelters for the animal companions of people affected by the fire. The items included bags of food and medications for the animal friends.
Expenditures by Supreme Master Ching Hai and Her International Association for Fire Relief Work in Valparaíso, Chile
|Food for our animal friends||242,554||B|
|Medications for our animal friends||66,932||C|
|Total|| CLP 334,486
Throughout the relief operation, the team members paid for their own transportation and food.