Chilean Consul General Patricio Madariaga called on his countrymen here Tuesday to support efforts in his nation to recover from its worst earthquake in 25 years, a 7.4 magnitude temblor blamed for 135 deaths, almost 2,000 injuries and 165,000 homeless.
"Chile needs all the help in this time of disaster," Madariaga said in a letter of appeal.
The Los Angeles-based official estimated that 5,000 to 10,000 Chileans live in Southern California. He urged contributors to send a check or money order to the Consulate General of Chile, 510 W. 6th St., Suite 1204, Los Angeles 90014. Madariaga said the Chilean Embassy in Washington has opened an account for the deposit of quake-relief funds.
The Chile-California Chamber of Commerce solicited its 46 members for contributions. The American Red Cross here is also accepting checks designated for Chilean earthquake relief. United Press International reported from Santiago that assistance from other nations is beginning to reach Chile with the arrival of a Peruvian air force plane carrying a field hospital and an Argentine government plane with food, children's clothes and mattresses.
President Augusto Pinochet held an emergency Cabinet meeting to declare the major port of San Antonio, 70 miles west of the capital, a "catastrophe zone" eligible for special funds.