The President of the Freemasons' Grand Charity, Grahame Elliott, has approved an emergency grant of £20,000 to the Red Cross following a large earthquake in Chile. The earthquake struck at 03:35 hours local time on 27 February 2010; measuring 8.8 on the Richter scale. It is reported to be the worst earthquake to hit the country in 25 years, and has been followed by aftershocks of up to 6.9 magnitude. 802 people are confirmed dead and over 2 million are believed to have been affected.
The earthquake hit 90 kilometres north-east of the city of Concepción in central Chile and has reportedly caused considerable damage to infrastructure in the Bíobío and Maule regions. Many roads and buildings have been damaged, particularly in coastal zones, while some areas continue to suffer from power outages, though Santiago remains largely unaffected.