Officials seek Costa Ricans in Chile after quake

February 26, 2010

The Costa Rican Foreign Ministry received word on Monday that at least 33 Costa Ricans are still in Chile after the 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck the country on Saturday.

Of these 33, the ministry had made contact with 13 as of Tuesday morning. All of them were reported to besafe and unharmed.

Costa Ricans began notifying the Foreign Ministry on Saturday morning of family members and friends who were in the South American nation when the quake struck last weekend.

Roughly 200 Costa Ricans are listed as residents in Chile, according to the Costa Rican Embassy there. On Monday, the embassy delivered a list of the names of registered residents to Chilean authorities in efforts to obtain information about them.

However, officials do not believe that all of the Ticos listed as residents were in Chile at the time of the earthquake.

The Costa Rican embassy in Chile suffered minor damages after the quake, but officials said the office will remain open daily from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Diplomats have reported difficulty reaching Costa Ricans by phone and e-mail due to damaged communications systems in Chile. Officials said the best information has come by way of social networking Web sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.

The embassy has established its own Facebook Web page and e-mail address for anyone who has information or is looking for information about Costa Ricans who are thought to still be in Chile.

Facebook page: Ticos en Santiago de Chile

E-mail: ticosenchile2010@gmail.com

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