Ministerial Statement on Chile: Saturday, February 27, 12 pm.

(No. 87 – February 27, 2010 – 2:30 p.m. ET) The following is an edited transcript of a statement made to media by the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, on the situation in Chile. The statement was made during a teleconference held at 12 p.m. on Saturday, February 27, 2010:

“Canada is concerned by the events unfolding in Chile in the aftermath of a 8.8 magnitude earthquake that occurred earlier today.

“The Government of Canada extends its sympathies to those affected by the earthquake. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people and Government of Chile as it responds to this emerging natural disaster.

“Canadian government officials are currently assessing the situation to clarify the extent of the damage in Chile as well as to assess the potential impact on Canadians who are present in the country. 

“Canada stands ready to provide any necessary assistance to the Government of Chile during this time of need.

“Canadian officials are closely monitoring the potential implications of the tsunami warning that has been issued across the Pacific Ocean.

“We have been in contact with our embassies in those countries that may be affected by this tsunami alert.

“To date, we do not have confirmation of any Canadian citizens affected. We can report that at the time of the earthquake, 1,100 Canadians were registered in Chile and some 60 in Concepción.

“We will provide an update on the number of Canadians affected when available.

“Our officials in Santiago are contacting relevant Chilean authorities to clarify the extent of the damage, and to determine whether Canadian assistance may be required.

“The Government of Chile has not made a request for international assistance at this time.

“We invite Canadian citizens who are in the affected areas to call home and reassure their loved ones, if they have not been affected by this event.

“Canadians in Chile requiring emergency consular assistance should contact the Canadian Embassy in Santiago at 56-2-652-3800 or call DFAIT’s Emergency Operations Centre collect at 613-996-8885. An email can also be sent to sos@international.gc.ca.

“It is important to be aware that communications in Chile are currently sporadic, including the land line at the embassy.

“If Canadians cannot make contact with the embassy we encourage them to contact our emergency operations centre in Ottawa by telephone or email.

“Friends and relatives in Canada seeking information on Canadian citizens believed to be affected by the earthquake in Chile should contact DFAIT’s Emergency Operations Centre in Ottawa at 1-800-387-3124 or 613-943-1055 or by sending an email to sos@international.gc.ca.

“Thank you.”

For more information, please visit Earthquake hits Chile.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Catherine Loubier
Director of Communications
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874