UPDATE 4-Chile assesses damage after massive quake, tsunami

miércoles 2 de abril de 2014 17:19 GYT
 

(Adds housing damage, market reaction, BreakingViews link)

By Anthony Esposito and Rosalba O'Brien

SANTIAGO, April 2 (Reuters) - Chilean authorities on Wednesday were assessing the damage from a massive earthquake that struck off the northern coast, causing a small tsunami, but the impact appeared to be mostly limited.

The 8.2 magnitude quake that shook northern Chile on Tuesday killed six people and triggered a tsunami with 2-meter (7-foot) waves.

As the ocean waves receded, over 900,000 people who had evacuated the country's low-lying coastal areas returned to their homes, some to find their houses and livelihoods in ruins.

More than 2,600 homes were damaged and fishing boats along the northern coast were smashed up. However, most infrastructure held up and mines in the world's No. 1 copper producer were generally functioning normally.

The arid, mineral-rich north is sparsely populated, with most of the population concentrated in the port towns of Iquique and Arica, near the Peruvian border.

In Peru, the earthquake led to temporary power outages and evacuations in some southern towns, but did not cause serious damage or injuries.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet visited Iquique on Wednesday and praised people's orderly response to the emergency.   Continuación...