The 8.8 earthquake that shook Chile and stirred hemispheric worries about tsunamis in the wake of the giant temblor may cost the country tens of billions of dollars. But worse yet is the death count, which was expected to dramatically rise past the figure of 300 posted early Sunday. Updated

On the financial side of the disaster, an estimated 2 million Chileans have been displaced, placing pressure on humanitarian aid resources as well as signaling huge costs for reconstruction. –JCL

The New York Times:

LIMA, Peru — The ground underneath Chile continued shaking on Sunday as jittery residents took stock of the devastating magnitude 8.8 earthquake that flattened homes, toppled bridges and took more than 700 lives over the weekend.

[…] More than 2 million people have been displaced by the quake, according to the National Office of Emergency. Sunday morning’s aftershock was measured at a magnitude of 6.1, the strongest of about 60 to reverberate since the quake.

The death toll, raised to about 700 at a news conference at midday Sunday by President Michelle Bachelet, could increase further. In Concepción, Chile’s second-largest metropolitan area, which appeared to be especially hard hit, the mayor said Sunday morning that 100 people were trapped under the rubble of a building that had collapsed, according to Reuters.

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