Relief Efforts Under Way for Peru Quake Victims

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LIMA, Peru, JUNE 26, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Peru´s bishops launched the campaign "Solidarity with the South," to help victims of last weekend´s earthquake.



The quake left 97 people dead, 1,179 injured, 53 missing, and 33,970 with property damage, the Civil Defense Institute stated. The episcopate estimates that up to 80,000 suffered property damage.

The government declared a state of emergency in the regions of Arequipa, Moquegua and Tacna, and cities of the Highlands regions of Ayacucho, Parinacocha, Paucar and Sara Sara, according to interim President Valentín Paniagua.

The immediate purpose of the "Solidarity with the South" campaign is to collect food, medicines, blankets and first aid. Local Caritas groups will distribute the aid in the affected areas of Arequipa, Camana, Caraveli, Moquegua and Tacna.

In time, the Church will launch a second phase of the campaign for the reconstruction of homes, water supply systems, and basic sanitation.

Caritas-Germany is donating tents and about $44,000 in aid. U.S.-based Catholic Relief Services has donated $50,000, and Caritas-Spain has launched a campaign to collect funds.

More information is available at postmaster@caritas.org.pe.