Clinton offers aid to quake-hit Chile

15:26, March 03, 2010      

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Chile Tuesday to offer moral and material support to the country, which was shaken by an 8.8-magnitude earthquake Saturday.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet welcomed Clinton at Santiago's airport, telling Clinton of the earthquake's serious consequences and the measures her government had taken to deal with the disaster.

Clinton said that President Bachelet and her government had demonstrated great leadership, and that the Chilean people had shown great courage in the face of the disaster.

The U.S. secretary of state gave Bachelet 25 satellite telephones as part of the aid requested by Chile, along with communication devices, power generators and other equipment.

Clinton said that more U.S. aid to Chile would arrive soon, such as eight water purification units, one temporary hospital with surgical equipment, four dialysis machines, generators, medicine and portable bridges.

"I first come with the great sympathy and support from President Obama and the people of the United States," Clinton told Bachelet. "We are so grateful for what Chile did in Haiti. Your rescue teams were among the very best in the entire world."

Clinton added that the United States was planning to stay in Chile to offer long-term help. "We'll be there to be of help when others leave because we are committed to this partnership and friendship with Chile."

The U.S. government was thinking of ways to send more equipment like kitchens and helicopters, Clinton said.

Source: Xinhua
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