Chile Ends Quake Emergency, Keeps Military In Place
By Dialogo April 02, 2010Chile Wednesday lifted its "catastrophic" emergency declaration after a huge earthquake that struck last month, but said it would keep its armed forces in place working on rebuilding. "The government, after consulting with regional (military) chiefs, has decided not to renew the catastrophic emergency declaration," President Sebastian Pinera told reporters. The declaration had put Chile's military on watch in the regions of O'Higgins, el Maule and Biobio after the 8.8-magnitude February 27 quake struck off Concepcion triggering a local tsunami. At least 452 people were killed and the disaster did some 30 billion dollars in damage. Chile opted to keep the military in place in the regions, where there was some looting immediately after the quake, Pinera said, "so they continue working on humanitarian efforts ... and rebuilding."