South American comapny explora has released a statement to the travel community in the wake of the devastating earthquake in Chile.
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers during this very difficult and confusing time. We are humbled by the outpour of support that we are receiving from all over the world. It is in challenging situations that one realizes how small the world is and how we all are connected in some way.
Thank you for keeping us and our families in your prayers and for reaching out to all of us.
Saturday's earthquake was the 5th strongest quake ever recorded. To put it in perspective, Chile's earthquake released 500 times more energy than the recent quake in Haiti. While the images that are being shown in the news worldwide show major destruction, most of the damage has occurred in the region of Maule and Bio Bio, more than 500 kms (311 miles) south of Chile's capital. Our thoughts and prayers go to the less fortunate people in these regions.
Thankfully explora's Santiago - based employees and their respective families are doing well. The city of Santiago is almost back to normal with electricity, Internet, water and phone systems working. The explora headquarter in Santiago is functioning normally.
We are pleased to report that our operations in Atacama, Easter Island and Patagonia are running smoothly and our guests and employees are doing well and everyone is in good spirit. Our three destinations are hundreds of kilometers/miles away from the epicenter of the earthquake and thankfully the magnitute of the quake was imperceptible in all three locations. (explora Atacama is 1037 miles north of Santiago, explora Patagonia is 889 miles south of Santiago and explora Rapa Nui is 2174 miles west of the continent).
Casa Porta Estate, where our explora + Wine program takes place, sustained some structural damages. Casa Porta Estates belongs to our sister company CV Family Estates and is located in the Cachapoal wine region, south of Santiago. At this time we are evaluating the magnitude of the damages and if necessary will soonest offer an alternative explora + wine program.
The international airport in Santiago has reopened for limited inbound international flights. We expect the airport to be fully operational by mid-week.
We will keep you posted on new developments.
Once again, many thanks for all the support shown during these difficult times.