Two Colombian families reported they have not heard from relatives living in Chile since the earthquake that struck the country early Saturday morning. No Colombians have been reported dead in the quake.
Colombia’s Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez is trying to locate two Colombian doctors residing in Chile, whose families report they have not heard from their loved ones since the earthquake hit.
Doctors Fernando Alexis Caceres and Diana Carolina Caceres Vasquez were working in the central Chilean city of Parral prior to the quake.
The collapse of communication systems in the region have made it impossible to establish contact with the city. Bridges and roads were also destroyed in the quake.
“We haven’t had any reports of Colombians that were fatally affected,” Bermudez announced Sunday.
Colombian Ambassador in Chile Carlos Julio Gaitan said between 8,000 and 10,000 Colombians live in Chile.
Bermudez said he has been in direct contact with the Colombian Embassy and consulates in Chile to find out how Colombia can assist the earthquake-hit nation.
The Colombian air force announced Sunday that it will send an aircraft to Chile to collect Colombians stranded in the southern Andean nation.
A Boeing 707 is expected to leave for Chile with 150 Chilean nationals whose commercial flights have been cancelled due to the closure of airports around Chile. The aircraft will return with 147 Colombians who are currently stranded in Chile.
The Colombian air force has assembled teams of doctors, nurses, paramedics, rescue workers, search and rescue dogs and air craft, which are at the disposal of the Chilean government.
Bermudez said that the Colombian Ambassador in Chile has directly offered Colombia’s assistance to the Chilean Foreign Ministry.
At least 700 people are dead and another 2 million affected by the devastating quake that measured 8.8 on the Richter scale.
Colombia’s Pacific coast was not affected by the tsunami that followed the earthquake in Chile on Saturday.