Chilean tsunami chaos revealed

Al Jazeera visits the village communities destroyed by the quake-generated tsunami.

    Before the 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck Chile last week, many Chileans were enjoying their summer holidays in the coastal town of Dichato in Concepcion, about 500km south of Santiago, the capital.
    However, within an hour of the quake three tidal waves destroyed what the earthquake had not - leaving 85 per cent of the town destroyed.

    While the majority of the 5500 local residents ran to higher ground when the tsunami struck, scores of tourists remained trapped.
    Al Jazeera's Lucia Newman, who visited the devastated town, said no one knows how many people died there.

    In video

    Al Jazeera's Teresa Bo reports on efforts to recover dead and missing victims

    "Every day they are finding more bodies amongst the rubble," she said.

    "A policeman told me they found eight more bodies only yesterday.

    Luis Escudero, an earthquake survivor, said "the ocean lifted my house and tossed it [far away].

    "Everything here was blocks away, facing the ocean now it has been and pushed here. All this was a potato field until Saturday, [now it is destroyed]," she said.

    Chilean authorities rushed thousands of troops to earthquake-ravaged towns across the country in a bid to contain mass looting and unrest triggered by Saturday's earthquake.

    Michelle Bachelet, the country's president, has rejected criticism of the government's handling of the disaster that has left at least 795 people dead so far.

    Aid organisations and government officials in Britain and the US have offered to help Chileans in their efforts to rebuild their country.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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