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Posts Tagged ‘Chile Earthquake update’

Chile Quake Aftermath: Day 5

Posted by feww on March 4, 2010

There would be enough food and fuel for everyone, if they wait long enough: President Bachelet

Death Toll from the quake and tsunami is slowly inching up above 800, but the number of missing is grossly underestimated.

“There is enough food and therefore we must remain calm. There is also enough fuel, there is no risk of shortages … Be confident … Chile is going to stand on its feet again,” the outgoing president Bachelet blurted out on the nationally TV and radio.

Ms. Bachelet, described as  center-left, has again pleaded with Chileans  not only to stop looting, but cease hoarding supplies, too.

She doesn’t accept that her government’s response to one of the world’s largest earthquake was even more pathetic than the dysfunctional “government” of Haiti to their earthquake disaster in January.

Ms Bachelet has urged Chilean’s to help with relief efforts, like every good citizen should. But even Gen Pinochet knew an army cannot march on an empty stomach.

Enter the EXTREME Right

If her government was really center-left, may good have mercy on Chileans because the ultra conservative president-elect, billionaire businessman Sebastian Pinera, can only be described as EXTREME right. To people like him, people are mere numbers on a balance sheet and the bottom line must always be black. Chile may be reentering the “dark ages” again.

More Aftershocks

Concepcion, Chile’s second largest and the closest major city to the epicenter of the M8.8 megaquake that struck on Saturday, was shaken by a swarm of strong aftershocks which  sent the locals scurrying to higher grounds fearing a new wave of tsunamis.

The capital Santiago was also shaken by at least two strong aftershocks on Wednesday.


Earthquake location map (10-degree Map Centered at 35°S,70°W) shows the approximate location of the M8.8 megaquake and 195 aftershock, many larger than M5.0 as 01:00UTC (GMT) on March 4, 2010.  Source: USGS/EHP.

Dead and Missing

The number of dead was reported as 813 by late Wednesday, but there are probably as many as 1,000 people still unaccounted for especially in the coastal villages that were completely obliterated by the three large tsunami waves (which the government had said won’t happen).

As many as 500 people are unaccounted for in Constitucion, one of several fishing  villages which were almost entirely wiped out.

Curfew

Concepcion is currently under an 18-hour curfew enforced by as many as 17,000 troops (3,000 more than the number reported by the media) as well as the local police force. But with so many buildings destroyed or damaged, and residents  refusing to enter their homes in case of a collapse, this curfew must be a very strange one.

Basic Necessities at  Extortionate Prices

A few shops have opened in Concepcion, but foodstuffs are sold at extortionate price, inflated by 300 percent.

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Chile quake Update 3 (March 2)

Posted by feww on March 2, 2010

Chileans Need Food, Water and Care; NOT Bazookas!

Chilean authorities never cease to defy common sense, or harm their own citizens beyond your wildest imagination

The death toll from Chile’s megaquake and tsunami nears 750

The term Shell shock would of course fail to describe the state of the survivors, living victims, of the Chilean earthquake; they were hit by a megaquake. However, the traumatic experience they have suffered is very much the same as being “shell-shocked.”

Now they need food, water and shelter, but more importantly a caring establishment that treats them as vulnerable victims of a massive shock!

What they got instead, were soldiers carrying heavy-caliber machine guns and anti-tank weapons with the muzzles pointed at them!

“Go on, shoot them, put them out of their misery … what do you care? You’re only doing your job [sic.]” Surely, so long as the copper mines continue to yield and the soldiers receive their rations,  the establishment would have no worries.


Chilean soldiers patrol the streets to stop looting and keep the order, as a building burns in the background after a major earthquake in Concepcion March 1, 2010. Chile’s government scrambled on Monday to provide aid to thousands of homeless people in coastal towns devastated by a massive earthquake and tsunamis, as 10,000 troops patrolled to quell looting. Credit: REUTERS/Jose Luis Saavedra. Image may be subject to copyright.

Extent of the quake damage

The megaquake struck near the village/town of Dichato instantly destroying three quarters of the town. Then three successive tsunami waves arrived. “The first two were big and didn’t do much damage, but the last one almost wiped the village off the map,” a local resident said.

“Surging waves triggered by the quake smashed houses and cars in fishing villages on the country’s long Pacific coast. In the town of Constitucion alone, 350 people are believed to have died and a public gym was turned into a makeshift morgue.” Reuters reported.

Looting

Chilean government has imposed a curfew in Concepcion and the adjacent region of Maule, where the megaquake struck, after sporadic “looting” broke out. There are images of looters, of course, who are breaking into shops and warehouses, carrying white goods on their shoulders.  But they are a minority. Nearly three days after the megaquake and the tsunamis struck, the majority of the local folks described as “looters” are simply desperate for basic necessities—food and water.

The desperate “looters” have even raided a fire station looking for water.

“The looters are more organized,” said Concepcion’s mayor, Jacqueline Van Rysselberghe, Reuters reported, asking the Bachelet government to dispatch more of those troops with [antiaircraft rocket-launchers and] intimidating helmets to reinforce “law and order” in the country’s second largest city.

Caught between thirst and hunger,  on the one hand, and soldiers armed with bazookas, on the other, the victims are taking their chances.  Unsurprisingly, they are evolving and becoming more organized.

[To the readers who are sitting at home in the comfort of their armchairs  reading these lines: THIS CAN and PROBABLY WILL HAPPEN to YOU, TOO!  CHANGE YOUR SYSTEM and LIFESTYLES, NOW! IT IS ALREADY WAY TOO LATE!]

We find it hard to term the desperate victims as “looters”; they are traumatized folks struggling for survival.

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