13 Killed in Chile Earthquake

13 Killed in Chile Earthquake

Earthquake leaves 9000 homeless

Thirteen people were killed in Chile after an 8.3 earthquake struck the nation on 16 September. A tsunami followed shortly afterward.

The earthquake occurred offshore from Illapel, Chile, just before 8pm. The earthquake’s epicentre was 143 kilometres north-north-west of the city of Valparaiso. The tremor was also felt in the capital, Santiago.

Roughly one million people were evacuated from the coastal area, and the evacuation was completed only minutes before the tsunami hit the shorelines. 

Six people are still missing, and 34 have been reported as injured. 

Over 9000 people have been declared homeless due to the destruction. However, government officials say they are still assessing the quake’s impact.

Deputy Interior Minister Mahmud Aleuy said the government hopes to have surveyed all affected people by Friday 25 September.

Public Works Minister Alberto Undurraga toured the area, and said that only a quarter of the debris removal and cleanup work had been completed. This was before the nation suffered from an aftershock measuring 6.5 that caused further damage on Monday.

On Monday 21 September, President Michelle Bachelet promised financial aid to victims. The Chilean government is offering one-off payments to affected families. The government also plans to use emergency funds to help the worst-hit fishing and port industries. 

The payments include $1500 to rebuild houses and another $700 to replace lost goods. 

“We know that any measure does not compensate for losses suffered during this new natural catastrophe, but we want people to know that the government is not going to abandon them,” said Bachelet.

This article first appeared in Issue 25, 2015.
Posted 11:44am Sunday 27th September 2015 by Bridie Boyd.