Chile's government cope with supply shortages

2010-03-07 10:04 BJT

Special Report: 8.8 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Chile |


Chile's government and volunteer organizations are working hard to cope with supply shortages after suffering another strong aftershock.

A 6.6 magnitude shock rattled buildings for nearly a minute on Friday morning, sending people fleeing into the streets. In Concepcion, the country's second largest city, the local government organized a massive operation to distribute aid. Soldiers and volunteers packed and distributed bags of food to affected residents.

In nearby Constitucion, plates of food were handed out.

Maria Villeta, Constitucion Resident, said, "I am thankful for what we have been given, but we have no water so we can't do anything. Water is indispensable. We have electricity, but we can't cook with that."

In another part of the town, 120 members from the "A Roof for Chile" organization are building provisional homes for those left homeless by the quake and tsunami.

Meanwhile, banks are still waiting for instructions to begin working again.

Humberto Gonzalez, Bank Manager, said, "We presume there will be some sort of federal program through which people can re-activate their accounts. All banks have also frozen interest and default fees."

In Santiago, President Michelle Bachelet met her successor, Sebastian Pinera, to discuss recovery efforts and the hand-over of power on March 11.

Both agreed to set aside their differences and work to ensure aid efforts are not interrupted.

Michelle Bachelet said, "We will do everything within our reach to facilitate the transition for the new authorities, because I think all of Chile agrees it is time for unity, solidarity and generosity."