Concepcion, Chile, South America 28 February 2010 -- The Finnish Foreign Ministry has been unable to reach around 20 Finns in Chile after an 8.8 magnitude earthquake hammered the country on Saturday, according to YLE Uutiset. The rest of the 200 or so Finns living in the country have been contacted and according to the Ministry are all right.
Among those who had not been heard from werer seven Metso employees who were on a business trip in Concepcion, a city close to the epicentre of the quake. None of them have been contacted. Heljo Laukkanen, Metso's director of risk management, said they have tried contacting their employees via phone and email, but to no avail.
Laukkanen believes, however, that this is most likely a question of poor to nonexistent communications networks after the quake. He adds that their mobile telephones and computers might also simply be out of battery power.
The Finnish Embassy in Chile says that some Finns might not have registered at the embassy when they arrived in the country. In these cases, the embassy won't even know to try and contact them until their families alert consular officials. The embassy has had no information which would indicate that Finns might be among the dead or wounded.
Rescue workers in Chile are still struggling to pull survivors out of the wreckage. The earthquake was one of the world's most powerful in a century. More than 700 people have been killed.