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Chile earthquake relief: Want to help? Just send a text.

Anyone wishing to donate to Chile earthquake relief efforts can now do so just by pressing a few buttons on his or her cellphone. After the Haiti earthquake in January, text donations totaled more than $40 million.

By Correspondent / March 1, 2010

People reached for goods thrown from a supermarket window during looting in Concepción, Chile, Monday. A magnitude-8.8 earthquake struck central Chile early Saturday.

Natacha Pisarenko/AP

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As during the Haiti earthquake aftermath, Americans are now being encouraged by organizations working on Chile earthquake relief efforts to donate via text message.

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“We’re facing an emergency unlike anything else in Chile’s history,” said Chilean President Michelle Bachelet on Sunday, a day after the earthquake hit central Chile and killed at least 708 people.

One of the most developed countries in Latin America, Chile did not immediately appeal for foreign aid. "We generally do not ask for help," said Ms. Bachelet. But on Monday, she opened up to foreign assistance, saying that Chile faces ''a catastrophe of such unthinkable magnitude that it will require a giant effort to recover."

IN PICTURES: Images from the magnitude-8.8 earthquake in Chile

The Mobile Giving Foundation, which organized text message relief for Haiti, has vetted the following organizations for donating to Chile:

  • Text "CHILE" to 20222 to donate $10 on behalf of World Vision.
  • Text "CHILE" to 52000 to donate $10 on behalf of the Salvation Army
  • Text "SAVE" to 20222 to donate $10 on behalf of Save the Children Federation, Inc.
  • Text "CHILE" to 85944 to donate $10 on behalf of International Medical Corps.
  • Text "4CHILE" to 50555 to donate $10 on behalf of Convoy of Hope
  • Text "CHILE" to 50555 to donate $10 on behalf of Friends of the World Program
  • Text "REBUILD" to 50555 to donate $10 on behalf of Friends of the Operation USA

AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless are providing free text messages in support of the effort. One hundred percent of the donation goes to earthquake relief, according to the Mobile Giving Foundation.

As the death toll from Saturday’s magnitude-8.8 earthquake continues to rise, authorities are focusing relief efforts on the hardest-hit southern regions. Some 2,000 police and military personnel have been deployed for recovery efforts and also to maintain order. Authorities have enforced a curfew and police have reportedly fired tear gas and water canons to disperse riotous crowds seeking food.

The earthquake was far stronger than the one that struck Haiti in January, but an earthquake “consciousness” in Chile contributed to infrastructure being built to higher standards and prevented destruction on the scale seen in Haiti, where the death toll has risen to an estimated 200,000.

In the weeks following the Haiti earthquake on Jan. 12, Americans pledged more than $41 million via text message donations.

IN PICTURES: Images from the magnitude-8.8 earthquake in Chile

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