Southern, central Chile hit hard by massive quake

16:54, March 01, 2010      

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A resident stands inside her home damaged by a major earthquake in Santiago February 28, 2010.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Southern and central Chile has been hit hard by the magnitude-8.8 earthquake that struck Chile on Saturday morning, with many cities in those regions suffering severe damage.

Some roadways and bridges of the highway linking capital Santiago and Talca, one of the hardest-hit cities by the quake, have collapsed and vehicles bump slowly along the quake-jolted road.

In Talca, some 257 km south of Santiago, some local residents have abandoned their homes and chosen to gather in the city square and open areas to spend the night, for fear of further aftershocks.

An old man, who only gave his name as Calleja, said there were too many aftershocks.

"The doors of my house fell in the first aftershock and the windows broke down in the second one," Calleja, whose house survived an earthquake in 1985 but collapsed in the strong quake on Saturday.

"The quake is too strong," he said, adding he was not worried about the damage of his house as all his family members survived the quake without hurt.

"The government is certain to provide subsidy for rebuilding," said Calleja, adding he is also likely to get extra allowance for senior people.

A 7.1-magnitude aftershock that occurred Sunday morning in the area has triggered a tsunami, which may kill or injure some 100 to 150 people.

The lack of water and food is a big problem in the area. Fire engines supply water in some small towns but can not meet the need in bigger ones.


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