Chile may be way better off economically than Haiti, but many survivors of the Feb. 27 earthquake in the South American country are still awaiting government help a full week after the fifth-strongest temblor ever recorded. –JCL


Some survivors were still waiting for government aid on Saturday in south-central Chile, a week after one of the strongest earthquakes on record killed hundreds and repeated aftershocks rattled nerves.

Homeless and desperate, they voiced anger and frustration at outgoing President Michelle Bachelet’s handling of the disaster, saying her administration was too slow to mobilize after the 8.8-magnitude quake struck early on February 27.

“There has been an earthquake of disorganization on the part of the national and local governments,” said Fernando Valenzuela, 44, who is living with his wife in a tent city of 42 in the small town of Dichato, near the quake epicenter.

“This is a case of bad governmental management and organization … 99 percent of the help we have got has been from the Chilean people, and only 1 percent from the government,” he added as others cooked meals over open fires.

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