UN Rushes Aid to Chile after Earthquake

CBC News

The United Nations will rush supplies and support to Chile to help deal with the aftermath of last Saturday’s earthquake, a UN spokeswoman says.

The 8.8-magnitude earthquake killed more than 700 people and damaged at least 500,000 homes, Chilean officials said.

UN humanitarian spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs told the Associated Press that Chile made an official request for assistance Monday, two days after the quake struck about 325 kilometres south of the capital, Santiago.

In Santiago, people started returning to work Monday, but schools were closed. Meanwhile, rescue crews in Concepcion — a city about 115 kilometres from the epicentre of Saturday’s quake — were still searching for survivors.

Officials across Chile have struggled to assess the damage caused by the massive earthquake and the more than 100 aftershocks that have rumbled through the country since Saturday.

On Sunday, President Michelle Bachelet said Chile needs field hospitals and temporary bridges, water purification plants and damage assessment experts — as well as rescuers to help relieve exhausted workers.

“We are confronting an emergency without parallel in Chile’s history,” Bachelet said.

Thousands of people have been forced to move out of their homes into tents set up in parks and on grassy highway medians.

Read more at CBC.

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