UN readies Chile quake aid after gov't seeks help - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

UN readies Chile quake aid after gov't seeks help

 

GENEVA (AP) - The United Nations says it will rush aid deliveries to Chile after the government asked for help in its recovery from this weekend's massive earthquake.

U.N. humanitarian spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs says Chile officially made its request Monday, two days after the 8.8-magnitude quake struck about 325 kilometers (200 miles) south of the capital, Santiago, and killed over 700 people.

Byrs told the AP that the global body was now "ready to take action."

Before the request, international aid groups had sent some funds and experts. But their action was limited as Chilean officials were busy assessing the destruction from the earthquake and the needs of up to 2 million affected people.

The governor of a region in Chile hard hit by Saturday's massive earthquake says security forces arrested 55 people overnight for violating curfew.

The curfew was imposed after looters sacked markets throughout the city of Concepcion.

The United Nations says it will rush aid to Chile. And, President Michelle Bachelet is promising imminent deliveries of food, water and shelter for thousands living on the streets.

The quake killed at least 708 people and destroyed or badly damaged 500,000 homes. Bachelet says a growing number of people have been reported missing.

Rescuers are searching for about 60 people in a toppled apartment building.

Some nearby coastal towns are almost obliterated, first shaken by the quake, then slammed by a tsunami.

U.N. humanitarian spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs says Chile officially made its request Monday, two days after the 8.8-magnitude quake struck about 325 kilometers (200 miles) south of the capital, Santiago, and killed over 700 people.

Byrs told the AP that the global body was now "ready to take action."

Before the request, international aid groups had sent some funds and experts. But their action was limited as Chilean officials were busy assessing the destruction from the earthquake and the needs of up to 2 million affected people.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-03-01-10 0850EST

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