Chilean Consulate in Houston ready to help after earthquake

HOUSTON - The Chilean Consulate in Houston is prepared to help Houstonians who may be having trouble contacting loved ones in Chile following Tuesday's deadly earthquake.

"At this moment, the telephone system and the cell phone system are recovering very slow," said Jorge Valdes, Consul General of Chile in Houston. "But if somebody wants to identify relatives in Chile and learn what happened to him, we are in a position to help them."

Valdes said the country's earthquake preparation and notification system improved following the 8.8-magnitude quake in 2010.

He believes that system helped thousands of residents Tuesday night as they evacuated coastal areas following the 8.2-magnitude quake.

Valdes said he has also been in contact with the president of Houston's largest Chilean community organization to coordinate local response efforts.

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