Bachelet visits area hit by earthquake

Chile Earthquake

Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet flew on Wednesday to the coastal city of Iquique to review damage caused by an earthquake in the area. Bachelet declared a state of emergency in Iquique, a city of nearly 200,000 people near where the quake struck in the Pacific Ocean on Tuesday.

Seawater had flooded streets and lifted fishing boats onto city streets and sunk others in the port of Iquique. Authorities in northern Chile discovered surprisingly light damage and just six reported deaths from the magnitude-8.2 quake.

A remarkably low toll for such a powerful shift in the Earth’s crust.

Chile’s entire coast was initially subject to the mandatory evacuation order, which lasted nearly 10 hours in coastal communities closest to the offshore epicentre.

Bachelet, who returned to the presidency three weeks ago, waited five hours after the quake struck to address her nation. She last presided over a major quake towards the end of her 2006-10 term.   five hundred people died in that disaster when a magnitude-8.8 tremor quake triggered killer waves that destroyed 220,000 homes and washed away large parts of many coastal communities.

Chile Earthquake

Report compiled with information from The Associated Press.