JCB Chairman Sir Anthony Bamford today pledged assistance worth $100,000 to help in the rebuilding efforts in the wake of the Chilean earthquake disaster.
He is donating a 3C backhoe loader complete with attachments and spare parts to help with reconstruction efforts in the country's second city Concepcion which was hit by last weekend's 8.8-magnitude quake which has killed more than 700 people. About 1.5 million homes were also damaged in the earthquake and initial estimates put the cost of rebuilding at between $15bn and $30bn.
JCB - which has a backhoe factory in Brazil - is supplying the machine through its Chilean dealer Derco, which is also making available free-of-charge a fleet of used machinery for the authorities to use in rebuilding efforts. Derco's HQ in the Capital Santiago - 270 miles away from Concepcion - have been badly damaged by the quake while their premises in Concepcion appear to be largely unaffected.
Sir Anthony said: "This is one of the most powerful earthquakes on record and it has had a catastrophic effect on Concepcion. I hope in some small part our donation will contribute to the rebuilding effort and help some of those people whose lives have been turned upside down by this disaster."
The contribution to the aid effort follows a series of other JCB machinery donations in recent years to other parts of the world hit by natural disasters, including the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan Province in China, when six backhoe loaders worth over $600,000 and a team of operators were sent from the company's factory in Shanghai to help the clear-up effort in the region. JCB also donated machines worth more than £1 million to help in the aftermath of the Asian Tsunami in 2004, with JCB diggers deployed to Thailand, southern India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.
Earlier this year JCB donated equipment worth $150,000 to help the disaster relief effort in Haiti following the devastating earthquake that killed around 220,000 people.