Mar 032010
 

The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the situation in Chile in the aftermath of a powerful earthquake, measuring 8.8 magnitude, that struck 73 miles north of Concepcion (Chile’s second largest city; pop. 650,000) and 197 miles south of Santiago. To date, more than 700 people have died in the natural disaster, hundreds were injured and there has been damage to thousands of homes and commercial properties. This replaces the Travel Alert issued on February 28, 2010 and expires on April 1, 2010.
 
U.S. citizens currently in Chile should contact family and friends in the US to confirm their well-being at the earliest opportunity. Where internet and telephone services are not available, it may be possible to contact people using SMS (Cell text message) or other forms of social media such as Twitter and Facebook.
 
The Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid tourism and non-essential travel to Chile. The February 27th earthquake caused significant damage to the areas closest to the epicenter, including the cities of Concepcion, Talcahuano and Temuco. Santiago, Viña del Mar and Valparaiso were also affected by power outages and limited telecommunications.
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