Chile Earthquake

Photo credit: Claudio Núñez

Offering Hope Amid Disaster in Chile

When a devastating earthquake — the fifth largest in recorded history — struck Chile on Feb. 27, 2010, the Principal Financial Group® was there to help.

"Giving back to our communities, especially in a time of need, is part of our core values at The Principal. A crisis only reinforces that commitment," says Larry Zimpleman, chairman, president and CEO, The Principal®.

Following the earthquake, we announced a pledge of $131 million Chilean Pesos (approximately $250,000 USD), to relief efforts for Chile via the Chilean Red Cross and Hogar de Cristo, a Chilean disaster relief group. The donation amount, tied to our company's 131-year history, was made on behalf of The Principal, Principal International, Inc.-Latin America and its employees.

“With the impact of this earthquake on the communities where our employees, customers and associates live and work, we wanted to offer assistance as soon as possible,” said Norman Sorensen, then president of Principal International.

The Principal has had operations in Chile since 1995 and employs more than 1,450 employees and sales staff in 45 offices throughout the country. The headquarters are in Santiago, located about 200 miles from the earthquake's epicenter.

Rebuilding Homes for Survivors

In addition to monetary donations, Principal Chile organized a volunteer effort to help people whose homes were destroyed in the town of Hualañé, near the epicenter. More than 140 Principal Chile employees, family members and friends traveled to Hualañé in April 2010 and built 22 homes for survivors of the quake.

Read more about their rebuilding efforts.

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