Brazilians in Chile may return by military airplane: spokesman

09:35, March 02, 2010      

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The Brazilian Air Force said Monday it may use its planes to transport back Brazilian nationals residing in Chile which was hit on Saturday by an 8.8-magnitude earthquake.

A spokesman said the Air Force is still waiting for a request from either the country's foreign ministry or the defense ministry.

There are some 12,000 Brazilian nationals residing in neighboring Chile, according to foreign ministry figures.

Santiago-based Brazilian diplomats are keeping contact with the Chilean authorities for information about these Brazilians. There are so far no report on Brazilian death or missing in Chile as a result of the megaquake.

But the foreign ministry said that there has been difficulties in contacting the Brazilian nationals in Chile.

On Sunday, 12 Brazilians arrived in Brasilia by a Fab airline flight. They decided to return to Brazil after the earthquake had left more than 700 people dead in Chile.

The Fab flight also ferried Chilean Justice Minister Jorge Toledo and Attorney General Chahuan Sabas to Brasilia for consultation.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said Monday during his weekly radio talk show program "Breakfast With the President" that the government of Brazil is willing to cooperate with the government of Chile to arrange relief assistance.

But the Brazilian president has not yet succeeded in reaching his Chilean counterpart Michelle Bachelet by phone.

Source: Xinhua
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