New Zealand is giving half a million dollars to Chile for the earthquake relief effort.
Along with today’s cash contribution Foreign Minister Murray McCully says there are discussions with the Chilean authorities about how New Zealand could assist on the ground as well.
Since the massive 8.8 magnitude quake on Saturday, around 800 people are dead, many more are unaccounted for and many thousands have been made homeless.
Mr McCully says damaged roads and bridges are hampering relief efforts and there is limited telecommunication contact with some of the hardest hit areas which also remain without water of electricity.
World Vision’s assessment teams have now been able to helicopter into isolated communities and report whole towns have disappeared, including the tsunami-hit town of Coliumo, 70 miles from Concepcion.
Team member Paula Saez reports boats in the middle of the city and even a house floating in the sea. She says she has never seen anything like it.