Chile’s President Declares ‘State of Catastrophe’ After 8.8 Earthquake

February 28, 2010

(ChattahBox)—The day after a powerful 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck Chile near its capitol City of Santiago, residents and officials are taking toll of the damage. The number of known fatalities has reached 300 and is expected to climb in the days ahead. President Michelle Bachelet declared a “state of catastrophe,” but she cautioned countries to withhold sending aid to the wealthy capitol until a full assessment of the damage to the country’s infrastructure can be determined. So far, officials found that 1.5 million homes have been destroyed, with numerous bridges and roads destroyed.

Bachelet, said that officials were still trying to evaluate the “enormous quantity of damage.” She asked foreign nations to delay sending aid for now. “The power of nature has again struck our country,” she said, declaring six of Chile’s 15 regions “catastrophe zones.”

Soon after the quake hit the Andean country, a Tsunami alert was issued and waves exceeding seven feet high ravaged the Chilean coast and killed at least five people in the remote Robinson Crusoe islands.

Residents of Santiago, fearful of aftershocks, slept in the streets last night. And officials closed the seaport, airport, subway and all mining operations, until experts can undertake a damage assessment.

The largest earthquake ever recorded struck also Chile on May 22, 1960. The magnitude-9.5 quake killed 1,655 people.

Source: The Telegraph


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