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Enormous queues at reopened petrol stations in Concepcion

Video by Jérôme BONNARD , Elena CASAS

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2010-03-03

Two petrol stations have reopened in the severely hit Concepcion area, resulting in enormous queues built up with hundreds of people waiting for hours to fill up for the first time since the quake.

In Concepcion, just 80 kilometres from the epicentre of the 8.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked Chile last Saturday, two petrol stations have finally reopened.

They are the only ones in the town and its outskirts to sell fuel again, and enormous queues have already built up with hundreds of people waiting for hours to fill up for the first time since the quake.

Patience is running low. “This is all wrong,” one man told FRANCE 24. “From the beginning, nobody took the necessary measures to deal with what's happened here, because the authorities aren't here. They're in Santiago."

The owner of one of the two petrol stations expressed relief: “Order has returned, thanks to the military presence here. Otherwise we wouldn't be able to distribute petrol."

Petrol is rationed to 16 litres per vehicle. Even a busy doctor who said he wanted more fuel because he had “to go and care for people” had to come back the following day like everyone else.

Though the reopened petrol stations are a sign that life is gradually returning to a semblance of normalcy here, the town remains under a strict curfew between 6 pm and noon.

Date created : 2010-03-03