December 18, 2014
Strong aftershocks from yesterday's earthquake have been shaking northern Chile.
Some 15,000 people have been left homeless by the 7.7 magnitude tremor and at least two people were killed in collapsing houses. The U.S. Geological Survey says one of today's aftershocks was a magnitude 6.8. But there have been no immediate reports of further damage.
The port city of Tocopilla (toh-koh-PEE'-yah) and a nearby mining town were hardest hit. Chile's president is flying to the scene, where four Cabinet ministers are coordinating recovery and aid efforts. A spokesman says the two towns will be declared disaster areas.
The government has set up a military hospital and is promising hundreds of portable dwellings. The quake destroyed or damaged 4,000 houses and the local hospital. Some buildings are so badly damaged they are being demolished.