Santiago: Chile earthquake 2010 pictures: death toll crosses 700 mark. In fear of aftershocks, Chileans slept outside of their homes Sunday night. Chile has witnessed one of the most powerful earthquakes in the history on Saturday, but fortunately killing only 300 people. Since the quake of 8.8 magnitude, at least 87 aftershocks hit the nation, which included one with 2.9 magnitude.
Meanwhile, president of the Latin American nation, Michelle Bachelet has declared a “state catastrophe” in central Chile, where the quake devastated more buildings and knocked down electricity and phone lines. Many hospitals and bridges collapsed.
She said that officials are still evaluating enormous quantity of the damage. Bachelet did not seek any immediate foreign aid and wanted to delay assistance until things come clear.
“The power of nature has again struck our country,” she said, announcing six of Chile’s 15 regions “catastrophe zones”.
The massive quake also raised worries of a devastating tsunami across Pacific rim nations. But, tsunami waves lashed with a less than expected magnitude.
For billionaire Sebastian Pinera, who was elected as the president of Chile in January and is about to take office next week the quake is a rigorous first challenge.
Chilean schools, which were supposed to reopen on Monday after summer break will get an extra one week vacation in the wake of quake.
The quake was centered almost 100 kilometers away from the nation’s second largest city Concepcion. The death toll came to be very less as the quake originated from almost 22 miles underground.