03/01/2010, 00.00
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Tsunami alarm lifted. In Chile more than 700 dead

In the eastern Pacific Ocean waves up to a meter, but in some villages off the Chilean coast, the tsunami left at least 350 dead. Population and economy of the Latin American country hit hard. Price of copper soars. China promises $ 1 million in emergency aid.


Tokyo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The tsunami warning throughout the Pacific in the aftermath of the earthquake in Chile has been lifted. For the countries of the eastern Pacific the tidal wave has had no disastrous effects, but in Chile, near the epicentre of the earthquake, the tsunami swept away entire villages and doubled the number of dead from the disaster.

In a village near Concepion, at least 350 bodies were found. In the port of Talcahuano the waves dragged 20 ships through the streets of the city. Also in the Juan Fernandez Islands, near the Chilean coast, there are five dead and several missing.  

A tsunami warning was issued in many countries after the earthquake on Saturday 27 February: Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, Japan, but the waves that arrived on the coast were only about one meter.

The Chilean government says that so far there are 711 dead. But there are collapsed buildings that still contain dead or persons trapped beneath the rubble. Over 10 thousand troops are in the area to maintain order and a curfew has been imposed to prevent the looting of shops and supermarkets by survivors seeking food and water.  

The earthquake has damaged hundreds of thousands of homes, devastated highways, destroyed bridges, communications and electricity are not guaranteed.

The economy has been stretched to its limit. Chile is home to the world's largest copper mines, and although they restarted operations yesterday, today the markets raised the price of the metal by 6% in fear of a drop in production.  

In Shenzhen and Shanghai, shares of China’s copper mines grew by 6%.  

China today issued a statement promising 1 million U.S. dollars for emergency aid to Chile  

Yesterday, Benedict XVI urged the international community for solidarity with the Chilean people.



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See also
China, Chile sign copper mining deal
Earthquake in Japan and Chile, alarm Tsunami in the eastern Pacific
Small tidal wave from Chilean earthquake reaches Japan
Toll close to 100,000, 5 million displaced
UN body announces early tsunami warning system now in place


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