Chilean president Bachelet visits quake zone
ARICA — Chilean President Michelle Bachelet visited Arica on Wednesday, one of the cities closest to the epicenter of the earthquake that struck the north of the country on Tuesday night.
The 8.2 magnitude earthquake killed at least six people but caused surprisingly little damage.
At a news conference in Arica, Bachelet said she had marked Arica city, the Tarapaca region and Parinacota province as disaster zones which will allow the use of emergency funds for recovery efforts.
She said the disaster zone decree would “continue for as long as necessary.”
The quake was centered 61 miles (99 kilometres) northwest of Iquique, which is home to about 200,000 people.
About 2,500 homes were damaged in Alto Hospicio, a poor neighborhood in the hills above Iquique.
Bachelet said issues with water, electricity and fuel supply had been resolved by as much as 90 percent in Iquique and Arica.
“We’re going to continue to work in these different areas, water and electricity, so schools can get back to normal as fast as we can,” she said.
A mandatory evacuation that lasted for 10 hours in Iquique and Arica has been lifted.
About 900,000 people were kept out of their homes along Chile’s 2,500-mile (4,000 kilometer) coastline.
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