Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Space Travel News  




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



SHAKE AND BLOW
A deafening roar, then tsunami swallowed up village

Chile tsunami swept far inland along coast: army
Talac, Chile (AFP) March 2, 2010 - A tsunami triggered by the Chile quake swept far inland and ravaged 200 kilometers (120 miles) of coastline, the head of army operations here said, warning the death toll could top 1,000 in the Maule area alone. "The tsunami affected 200 kilometers of coastline, at places sweeping 2,000 meters inland," General Bosco Pesse, who is running emergency operations in the region of a quarter million people, told AFP. "Some 600 people died in this area, but the toll could climb to 1,000."

Chile's President Michelle Bachelet on Tuesday upped the official national death toll to 795, but many of the smaller coastal areas have not yet been reached with roads left impassable after Saturday's quake. "Our emphasis is on the coastal areas for now," Pesse said. "People seem very happy to see the army moving in here to help after this disaster. "We are bringing in engineers to clear roads, setting up mobile clinics and country hospitals, searching for corpses along the coast, stepping up night patrols to avoid mayhem." Some 14,000 troops have been deployed to the quake-hit areas to help relief operations and also to crack down on a wave of violent looting.

Pesse said troop strength in Maule had been upped from 500 to 2,000 in just three to four days as the army cleared roads, and brought in food and medical aid after the 8.8-magnitude quake. "We are building up our forces, intervening in sky, land and along seafront," he said, adding that international aid from Brazil, the United States and Peru was also beginning to arrive. The army has set up a emergency headquarters in Talac, which was buzzing with soldiers Tuesday consulting maps and computers. Regional administrator Fernando Coloma Amaro said drinking water was being restored in most places, except along the coast. "We have dispatched trucks of water and food to Constitucion," he added, referring to a town badly damaged in the quake. "We are continuing to search for corpses in the coastal region," he said, adding one of the major tasks was identifying the missing.
by Staff Writers
Pelluhue, Chile (AFP) March 2, 2010
The Chilean seaside resort of Pelluhue was transformed into a sandy wasteland without warning -- one giant wave, then another, then scores of homes disappeared.

The further Chilean emergency services go after the huge earthquake that sparked a twin tsunami, the more grim discoveries they make.

"This part was full of houses. There were more than 100," said Silvia Aparicio, a community leader, pointing to the Pelluhue beachfront.

"And that's nothing compared to what happened in the Marisquero," she added of a nearby district named after the shell fisherman who once lived here.

Many tourists were asleep in their beds when the deafening roar came from nowhere.

"There was no warning. The waves surged in 40 minutes after the earthquake which took place at 3:25 am," said Aparicio, who lives at the top of the town.

"There were two, then a bigger one. The sound was deafening," she said.

Four days after the quake, Pelluhue, some 300 kilometers (185 miles) from Santiago, remains a scene of desolation and sorrow.

Fallen tree trunks barring a road testify to the fury of the tsunami that firefighters say swept away several hundred houses in all along the coast.

So far, rescue workers have counted 57 dead in Pelluhue and another 28 in nearby Curenipe, both close to the epicenter of the quake, which is said to have killed at least 795 people.

Officials said the tsunami ravaged 200 kilometers (120 miles) of coastline, and warned that the death toll could top 1,000 in the Maule area alone.

"The tsunami affected 200 kilometers of coastline, at places sweeping 2,000 meters inland," General Bosco Pesse, who is running emergency operations in the region of a quarter million people, told AFP.

"Some 600 people died in this area, but the toll could climb to 1,000."

In addition to the dead in the region, an unknown number are missing, said senior firefighter Wagner Alvear Flores.

Most are Chilean tourists who flocked to this village of farmers and fishermen to spend their summer holidays. Many slept when the tsunami barrelled in.

Nearby, four men loaded up a truck with some chairs, a push-chair, a bed frame, a few pieces of furniture left from their vacation home, one of the few oceanfront houses to survive.

"We're returning to Curico (roughly 150 kilometers away). We cannot remain here," said Oscar Henriquez.

A police car drove past behind him, blasting a warning to residents by loudspeaker: "Curfew at 9:00 pm!"

"Soldiers came here yesterday to maintain order since there have been a lot of robberies," Aparicio said.

President Michelle Bachelet on Tuesday doubled to 14,000 the number of troops deployed to the coastal areas to help the aid effort and stop looting.

"We understand your urgent suffering, but we also know that these are criminal acts that will not be tolerated," Bachelet said.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton flew into Santiago bringing 20 satellite phones to help the aid operation and said US aid teams were on standby to help if needed.

"They can't communicate into Concepcion and some of the surrounding areas," she said, referring to Chile's worst hit second city. "They've been blocked getting into some remote areas."

The first aid shipment also arrived in this seaside resort Monday, but the town remains without water and electricity. The supermarket is closed because there is nothing left to sell.

Some people have opted to camp on the town heights. All face a long night ahead. "I'm very scared," Aparicio said, "because the aftershocks are stronger during the night."

Regional administrator Fernando Coloma Amaro said drinking water was being restored in most places, except along the coast. "We have dispatched trucks of water and food to Constitucion," he added, referring to a town badly damaged in the quake.

"We are continuing to search for corpses in the coastal region," he said, adding one of the major tasks was identifying the missing.



Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest



Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


SHAKE AND BLOW
'The wave covered everything': Chile tsunami survivor
Penco, Chile (AFP) Feb 28, 2010
Telltale traces of sand, mud and seaweed clung Sunday to the sides of restaurants, homes and anything else not washed away when a giant wave spawned by Chile's 8.8-magnitude quake engulfed the seaside town of Penco. The tsunami engulfed the normally placid Penco and neighboring villages, swallowing up homes here and washing away livelihoods. "The wave came and covered everything. It was ... read more







The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement