The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) today announced that it has opened an emergency mailbox to collect funds for relief efforts following Wednesday’s earthquake in Southern Peru. The earthquake, which had a magnitude 8.0 on the Richter scale, struck at 6:41 p.m. (7:41 p.m. ET). To date, over 1,500 people have been injured, the death toll of nearly 450 people is still rising.

“Our hearts and our hands go out to victims who are suffering. As always, the JDC will mobilize all our efforts to help those in need,’ said Steve Schwager, Executive Vice President, JDC.

This is not the first time the 93-year old organization has raised funds for disaster relief through its Open Mailbox. The JDC’s non-sectarian program has provided aid to those affected by the Tsunami in South Asia, flooding in Haiti and the Dominican Republic; victims of terror in Turkey; earthquakes in El Salvador, India, Morocco and Turkey; displaced people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,following the eruption of the Mt. Nyiragongo volcano; and war-torn communities in Kosovo.