In the News: Update on Chile’s Earthquake Aftermath

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By: Tiffani Haynes

After the 8.8.-magnitude earthquake struck Chile on Saturday, followed by a tsunami, the South American country has struggled to regain composure.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has confirmed that the death toll has reached 708 people and is expected to rise as the full extent of the quake’s damage is discovered.

According to the Associated Press, “The catastrophe is enormous,” Bachelet said at a news conference Sunday, adding that her declared “state of catastrophe” would continue as the Chilean military maintains order in the streets and the air force flies basic supplies to the hardest-hit regions of Maule and Biobio. She called the quake an “unthinkable disaster.”

The disaster has displaced nearly 2 million people and raised looting scares throughout the country.

Looters have begun searching for food and clothing, yet going as far as breaking into ATM machines and siphoning gas from underground tanks.

According to AP, “It was a mob. They looted everything,” said police Sgt. Rene Gutierrez, 46, who had his men guarding the now-empty mall. “Now we’re only here to protect the building — what’s left of the building.”

Yet, Bactchlet has a plan for eliminating some of the ransacking. Free grocery store items will be given away to help earthquake victims survive.

While many were injured and found dead, some narrowly escaped.

“I lost my bed,” one Chilean woman told ABC News. “I lost everything. All I have is the clothes on my back.”


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