Santiago, Sep 18 (IANS/EFE) At least 11 people were killed after Wednesday’s 8.3 magnitude earthquake that struck Chile, the director of the National Emergency Office, Ricardo Toro, announced on Thursday.
Toro also said that the nine people known to have been injured in the quake are all out of mortal danger.
The latest fatality was a fisherman identified as Victor Hugo Torres.
The number of people who lost their homes in the quake stands at 610, with 179 houses totally destroyed, 175 with serious damage and 288 with minor damage, the chief said.
The temblor especially affected the region of Coquimbo, some 300 km north of capiatl Santiago, leaving 87,653 people without electricity and another 9,070 without potable water service.
At this time, 428 people remain in shelters established by the authorities, Toro told a press conference.
Around 1 million residents along Chile’s Pacific coast were ordered to evacuate due to fears of a tsunami.
President Michelle Bachelet, who on Thursday travelled to the disaster zone to evaluate the damage firsthand, said that “the shelters are for the support of everyone”.
“There are still aftershocks. People have to know what happens in an aftershock, what to do, what not to do, how to try and keep calm amid the anxiety it causes,” said Bachelet, according to remarks reported by Cooperativa radio.
Toro emphasised the speed with which the navy’s Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service and the National Seismological Center issued the tsunami alert, a move that allowed the rapid evacuation of communities along more than 4,000 km of the country’s Pacific coast.