Catastrophe Consultancy: Chile's New Non-Traditional Exportation

After 660 casualties left by the earthquake that stroke Ecuador, the country requested help to Chilean experts.

The experience that brings being one of the countries where more catastrophies are registered in the world translates into a Chilean exportation product. This has been demonstrated by engineering and Red Cross national experts, who have advised authorities, unions and civil organizations in Ecuador after the 7.8 Richter earthquake that took place on 16th of April and that left behind 660 casualties and more than 4.000 wounded.

Sebastian Mocarquer, leader of the 49 member brigade brought by the group USAR of firemen from Chile, who traveled to the city of Pedernales, near the epicentre of Ecuador’s earquake, explained that the way this team Works is “self-sufficient”. Bringing food and water along with them, the team can move independently for up to 7 days requesting only from the country transport and fuel. The team gets there”

Mocarquer commented on the team's next goal, achieve a UN international certificate which could be obtained if they succeed in an exam to be done in November 2017. “We would be the first Latin-American team to obtain this certificate, which would let us guarantee that our work is based on the best international standards, being capable to offer humanitarian assitance not only the country but to the UN.


Additionally, experience gained in reconstruction was offered to Ecuador, as José González, Chilean Red Cross communications director commented. “The government (of Ecuador) took advice from us, throughout the local embassy, in regards to reconstruction counseling”, said the organization’s representative. González further commented that Chile’s aid response focuses in having at hand, special institutions focused on emergency housing and safe water networking implementation to deliver humanitarian assistance.

“We try not to receive big amounts of merchandise and products, but we rather collect funds so that people can buy from the local market”. It’s called Cash Transfer Program (PTE in Spanish), its aim is to strengthen the affected economy”, González explained.

Furthermore, antiseismic techonlogy for buildings was planned last week throughout training courses organized by the Construction Industry Chamber of Ecuador, by Leopoldo Breschi, partner at Chilean company VMB Structural Engineering.

According to Breschi “There are certain projects with strategic importance needs that have to be developed with new technology that includes antiseismic engineering, that is the subject we’ve been asked for consultancy.” As reported by the expert, the vision of our country is “A reference, it’s known after the 27/F earthquake, it had a positive response in construction terms”. We have also shared our experience regarding tsunamis, keeping them in mind it's important. We established the importance of defining on time the urban areas that are not in high risk zones to the Ecuadorian Ministry of Housing.

Breschi added that the problem in Ecuador is “the autoconstruction, building supervision, especially in the coast. Affected cities had poorly built buildings constructued with inappropiate materials. There was a particular case in which sea water was used for concrete, that highly affected the quality of the building”.