SANTIAGO, Chile, March 2 (UPI) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Santiago, Chile, Tuesday, bearing satellite phones and pledges of help for the earthquake-ravaged country.
“The United States is ready to respond to the request that the government of Chile has made so that we can provide not only solidarity, but specific supplies that are needed to help you recover from the (8.8-magnitude) earthquake” that struck Saturday, Clinton said during a news conference with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.
Clinton praised Bachelet’s leadership and government actions and “the people of Chile are responding with resilience and strength.”
So far, 723 people are confirmed dead, officials said, and 2 million more people are displaced. More than 90 aftershocks have been recorded, ranging from 4.9 to 6.9 in magnitude.
Bachelet said she discussed her country’s needs from the international community, including specific items and financial assistance.
“Our objective is that cooperation will exactly meet and respond to our needs, our most urgent needs,” Bachelet said.
Earlier Tuesday, Chilean newspapers quoted Bachelet as saying the situation in heavily damaged Concepcion was “under control,” The New York Times reported.
Bachelet said the government would be establishing field hospitals and distributing aid by various means, including boats, and would not tolerate looting, arson or other expressions of lawlessness.
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