Post-earthquake status of ALMA staff and their families and ALMA relief efforts to date

22 marzo, 2010

As stated in the first announcement that we released right after the earthquake of magnitude 8.8 that occurred in Chile on Saturday 27 February at 03:34 local time (06:34 GMT), we are glad to confirm that no fatalities or serious injuries were reported among ALMA staff or their families. However, several families suffered significant property damage and were cut off from basic supplies. Three emergency shipments of supplies were purchased, and ALMA staff volunteers transported them to Regions VII and VIII, the regions most affected by the catastrophe.

Given the disruptions in air travel after the earthquake, several buses were chartered from the ALMA Operations Support Facility (OSF) to Santiago, to allow our staff to return to their families. The level of operations was reduced during the week of March 1st to 5th.

A relief fund has been set up to collect and channel donations from employees. Funds will be given to affected families to help them overcome the effects of the earthquake. We would like to thank everyone who has donated and encourage further contributions in the weeks ahead.

Operations have returned to normal at the OSF and Array Operations Site in northern Chile, as well as in our offices in Santiago.