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Topic of the Day - Earthquake in Chile

Monday, 1 March 2010

Tragic news as yet another devastating earthquake has hit; this time Chilie has been left reeling and has declared a state of emergency as they try to cope with the aftermath of this huge disaster.

Pat Nixon, an Irish journalist in Santiago, Chile, reports on the damage of Saturday's earth quake that struck the country. Saturday's earthquake measured 8.8 in magnitude.

With the death toll estimated to be over 700, the Chilean government is scrambling to provide aid to thousands of homeless people in coastal towns devastated by a massive earthquake on Saturday's 8.8 magnitude quake.

The damage from the quake could cost up to €22 billion, equivalent to about 15% of Chile's Gross Domestic Product, said Eqecat, a firm that helps insurers model catastrophe risks. Pat tells us that 10,000 troops have been moved into stricken areas to quell looting.

With many people missing and some communities in the worst-hit central region of the South American country still largely cut off by mangled roads. A night-time curfew went into effect in the Maule region and in the heavily damaged town of Concepcion last night (Sunday night), where hundreds of looters ransacked stores for food and other goods.

Looting also broke out in parts of the capital, Santiago. Some economists predicted a deep impact on Chile's economy after the quake damaged its industrial and agricultural sectors in the worst-hit regions.

If you have concerns about any Irish persons' currently in Chile, you can contact the Dept of Foreign Affairs in Dublin on the following number:

We talk to Irish journalist, Pat Nixon who is at the epicentre fo the earthquake in Santiago, Chile.