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Chile Receives International Aid After Earthquake

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The international community has sent to Chile over 1,135 tons of aid to address the impacts of a deadly earthquake that shook the center-south region of the country on Feb. 27, Chilean Foreign Minister Mariano Fernandez said on Monday.

"Chile has received more than 1,135 tons of aid of essential goods from different countries, to which we reaffirm our infinite thanks once more," Fernandez said.

"We are very excited about and thankful for the aid, which mainly responds to the needs we reported and the petition list we sent," he added.

By Monday some 70 flights loaded with aid from over 20 countries have arrived in Chile. "We must stress the impressive collaboration of Latin America, the commitment of countries that even have a lower development level than Chile, like Bolivia, which has given us three planeloads of drinking water," Fernandez said.

Among the countries that have sent aid to Chile are Peru, Brazil, China, the United States, Argentina, Bolivia, Cuban Venezuela, Ecuador, Spain, Mexico, France, Russia, Colombia, Japan, Qatar, Australia, Germany and Uruguay.

The earthquake, measuring 8.8 on the Richter Scale, has left hundreds of thousands of people homeless, and the damages were estimated at US$30 billion.

Meanwhile, Chilean Health Minister Alvaro Erazo said that the reconstruction of the damaged hospital network after the earthquake will cost US$3.6 billion and take at least three years to be finished.

(Xinhua News Agency March 9, 2010)