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Life in the shelter: evacuees from Volcán Puyehue try to regain normality

Life in the shelter: evacuees from Volcán Puyehue try to regain normality
June 08
16:30 2011

Residents of Los Lagos region are spending their fifth day in shelters following the eruption of Volcán Puyehue on Saturday. Over the past two days they have received various visits from authorities in an effort to assure them of their livelihoods in the predominantly rural area and make life as comfortable as possible.

Yesterday, First Lady, Cecilia Morel, visited shelters in Futrono and Lago Ranco, alongside the governor of Los Rios, Juan Andrés Varas and the National Director of Chile’s emergency service, ONEMI, Vincente Núñez. During the afternoon, she talked with around 40 families, spending time listening to their concerns and explaining the measures being taken by government to deal with the emergency situation. She explained that “the government understands that the community is suffering” and that they were doing all the could to safeguard the homes and animals of the people who have been evacuated.

ONEMI’s Vincente Núñez indicated that authorities are “taking all the necessary measures to safeguard the population and maintain the ongoing delivery of support from ONEMI central, such as blankets, mattresses, masks, heaters and gas among other things.”

Núñez emphasised that the shelters are functioning adequately and that in some, people have started to undertake recreational activities, such as reading workshops, knitting and exercise.

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Minister Galilea helps evacuated farmers in Los lagos region to feed their animals. Credit: Gobierno de Chile

Meanwhile this morning, Minister of Agriculture, José Antonio Galilea, also visited the shelters to evaluate the support measures for farmers. He accompanied small livestock farmers in the process of feeding their animals – which they have been permitted to do once a day.

Minister Galilea stated that the cattle in the area was in good health, and that local farmers had appreciated the opportunity to check and care for their livestock. He also stated that precautions had been taken to protect livestock from contaminated water in the Gol Gol river, caused by falling ash and other debris.

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Jayne Scarman was the editor of I Love Chile online from Oct 2010 to August 2011. Hailing from the United Kingdom, she arrived in Chile in September 2010 to learn Spanish and see the world from a different perspective. She loves to write and has previously worked in copywriting, website content management, PR and marketing.
She was instrumental in I Love Chile News Online becoming the premier online English language newspaper in Chile
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