In Chile, 1 million people have been evacuated and at least five have been killed, reports Cathrine Shoichet and Rafeal Romo of CNN news. This after an 8.3 magnitude earthquake struck off Chile’s coast, yesterday. CNN called the quake the largest of 2015. BBC News reports that “The quake lasted for more than three minutes, and there have been dozens of aftershocks. Gloria Navarro, who lives in the coastal town of La Serena, said people were 'running in all directions.'" Below, you can view video of the quake.
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What about the pets?
The effect this event will have on the pet population of Chile remains to be seen, but past disaters have shown us that people are not the only ones affected. After reaching out to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), and Humane Society International (HSI), I have learned that efforts are underway to see if any animal assistance is required in Chile. Jane Harrell, Pet Health Network Editor-In-Chief, comments that, "Animal welfare impacts people and human health, too. For example, we saw during Katrina that many people refused to leave their pets behind. Also, sick and dying animals might impact human health in the region, so animal welfare response is an important part of any major disaster response."
Raul Arce-Contreras, of Humane Society Internal public relations, told me that while HSI is still working on a strategy to assist pets in Chile, “HSI always encourages pet parents to be prepared in advance of a national disaster like this.”
That’s great advice, and as September is National Disaster Preparedness Month, now is a great time to consider your level of preparedness. Check out these links to learn more:
- September: Disaster Preparedness Month
- 5 Things You Probably Don't Know About Disaster Preparedness for Pets
- Disaster Preparedness for Pets
If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.