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UN secretary general tours Chilean damage

Last Updated: Sunday, March 7, 2010 - 10:21

Concepcion: UN chief Ban Ki-moon visited survivors amid scenes of destruction one week after Chile`s massive earthquake and tsunami, as aftershocks accompanied relief efforts.
The UN secretary general praised the determination of Chileans as he stepped among rubble in Concepcion, one of cities worst hit by the catastrophe, and the port city of Talcahuano, which suffered severe damage from tsunamis after last Saturday`s 8.8-quake, which left hundreds dead.

Ban said he would deliver a report on the disaster to the UN and "discuss with the international community how best the United Nations can help, how best we can mobilise humanitarian assistance."

Ban pledged USD 10 million in immediate help from the UN and helped to launch a 24-hour telethon on Friday featuring celebrities -- from cartoon character Homer Simpson to internationally-acclaimed author Isabel Allende in a bid raise 15 billion pesos (USD 29 million) for disaster victims.

Officials initially said 802 people had died but now say 452 deaths have been confirmed. The toll was revised after it was discovered that in some areas people who were missing were listed as dead.

The admission came as the government of outgoing President Michelle Bachelet faced criticism for its slow response to the quake.


First Published: Sunday, March 7, 2010 - 10:21
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