I am still developing a story based on news and information I am receiving from Chile. Following is a summary of new developments that I received so far:
1. The school for the deaf in Santiago, la escuela Dr. Jorge Otto, suffered only minor damages and the schoolchildren are fine. Only the dividing wall in the patio was damaged and is being currently repaired. The house of only one girl's family was damaged and made unhabitable. The school is conducting a campaign to help this girl's family. A group of professors visited the family recently and offered to put them up in a lodge for the time being.
2. ASOCH, other organizations, schools for the deaf and deaf community leaders are now organizing campaigns around the country to assist deaf people in need.
3. Many deaf Chileans, according to Mr. Vergara, are upset over the lack of sign language interpreters and captions on emergency broadcast news on Chilean television. The deaf Chilean community has presented complaints to the Chilean government, which promised action on this concern.
4. A group of community leaders, interpreters and volunteers will be going today to the Maule and Bio Bio Region, which was badly hit by the earthquake and the tsunami, to bring food aid and other necessary items for the deaf communities.
5. 8 hospitals were destroyed around the country. Patients had to be evacuated to safer places.
Stay tuned for more news.
Update: I would like to add here that there has been widespread looting through the country and as a result the group going to the Maule and Bio Bio requested the protection of security forces. Americans desiring to visit Chile during this time are advised to check first with the State Department for precautions.
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