Valley Reacts to Chile Disaster

FRESNO, Calif. Cooking is all Brenda Murphy can do to pass the time.

If she stops all she can think of is her younger sister who lives in Vina Del Mar, Chile an area stuck hard by Saturday morning's 8.8 magnitude quake. "We're so far away and there is nothing I can do here just trying to communicate on the phone which we cannot do," she said.

Phone service into Chile was knocked out.

However, Murphy has found another way to communicate with her father and cousins who live in other Chilean cities, Facebook.

"'We're ok don't worry about us. The worst part was in Concepcion. It was a big scare,'" Murphy read. "It's just great to have this FaceBook thing; otherwise we wouldn't be able to know that they're ok."

While Murphy waits word from her sister there are others in the Valley who have connections to area.

"I actually have a friend that lives in Concepcion and that's where the 9.0 hit so I was really worried but all the phones are down," said Jordan Nickel who also lives in Visalia.

He met his friend in Chile while doing mission work there three years ago.

In fact, while Nickel was there a 7.7 magnitude quake struck.

Nickel: "8.8 or a 9.0 even with the new houses and new structures will be damaged. It's going to be hard to endure a 9.0 earthquake."

The Central Valley Red Cross is standing by waiting to find out how they can help.

However, director Ellen Knapp says they are in the middle of their annual Valley campaign helping local families and assisting victims in Haiti, this latest quake could send tremors through their already tight budget.

Knapp: "We're not a government agency, we don't get government funding so we need to make sure we also have enough money in our local disaster relief funding to that we can continue to help these families that need our help here."

Despite these financial concerns Knapp said they are ready with relief.

Meanwhile Murphy said she will continue checking her Facebook account waiting word from her sister.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.