A day after an 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck off Chile's coast, emergency officials said the death toll had risen to at least 400 people. Efforts are underway in Concepcion to rescue at least 100 people trapped in a collapsed apartment block.
REUTERS - Chilean rescue teams used shovels and sledgehammers on Sunday to find the survivors and victims of a huge earthquake that unleashed a Pacific tsunami and triggered looting by desperate residents.
In the hard-hit city of Concepcion, about 500 km (310 miles) south of the capital Santiago, about 100 people were feared trapped in a collapsed apartment block where rescuers worked through the night to find survivors.
The economic damage from the could be between $15 billion and $30 billion, risk assessor Eqecat said.
Chile's earthquake in pictures
Chile was hit by a powerful 8.8-magnitude earthquake early on Saturday morning local time. The epicentre was 115 kilometres from Concepcion, the country's second-largest city, which was ablaze all night long. (Photo credit: TV Chile)
The quake hit at 3:34 am local time (7:34 pm GMT). The capital city, Santiago, was plunged into darkness and telecommunications systems went down. (Photo credit tweetpic: @josegremeza)
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center announced tsunami alerts for Chile and Peru, and called for vigilance in Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica and the Antarctic. (Photo credit tweetpic: @emitouuu)
The country's infrastructure sustained major damage and Santiago's airport was closed down. (Photo credit: TV Chile)
"We continue to assess the situation," Interior Minister Edmundo Perez Yomato said, in discussing the extent of damage to homes and infrastructure. (Credit: AFP)
More than 100 deaths have been confirmed by authorities so far. Chile was also the site of the strongest earthquake ever recorded, a 9.5-magnitude quake in May 1960. (Photo credit tweetpic: @pamelapalmaz)
Date created : 2010-02-28