Global Crisis News
March 2, 2010

The devastating magnitude 8.8 earthquake that struck Chile early Saturday morning has killed more than 700 people and leaft 2 million homeless, wounded or otherwise affected. As some of the worst affected areas woke up to badly damaged cities Sunday, looting broke out, leading several mayors to ask the central government of to issue the extreme declaration of martial law.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, following an emergency meeting with her cabinet Sunday, announced she would send army troops into the Concepcion area in order to restore order and assist in rescue tasks.

The country has fallen into chaos as hundreds of people raided petrol stations to steal fuel as well as supermarkets for food. Public transport services had been suspended, and the supply of power and gas had also been cut off.

Police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse a crowd of looters carrying off food and electrical appliances from a supermarket in Concepcion. Local press reported that over 1,000 soldiers were deployed across the southern city of Concepcion.

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