International community pledges support for Chile following quake
The international community is offering support to Chile in the wake of Saturday's devastating earthquake.
The European Union pledged $4 million in immediate aid to the South American nation. EU Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso described the money as a "first step" to "relieve suffering and to meet the immediate needs."
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon expressed his condolences for the loss of life in the earthquake. He said he is seeking an assessment on the situation from the U.N.'s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean which is based in Chile's capital, Santiago.
In the U.S., White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the Obama administration also stands ready to help. He said officials are closely monitoring the situation, including the potential for a tsunami.
The British Red Cross released more than $75,000 from its disaster fund to support relief efforts in Chile. Aid groups, including Oxfam and Save the Children, are also organizing emergency teams and appealing for donations.
The U.S. State Department has provided a phone number for Americans seeking information about family and loved ones in Chile. That number is 1-888-404-4747.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had been scheduled to travel to Chile as part of a South American visit next week. A department spokeswoman, Megan Mattson, said Saturday that no decision on changing the secretary's trip has been made.VOA News