Clinton Arrives in Chile, Offers Aid Package

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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in earthquake-damaged Chile Tuesday. She flew into the capital city of Santiago, delivering much-needed satellite communication equipment and a technician.

Clinton met with Chile's outgoing President Michelle Bachelet and president-elect Sebastian Piñera at the airport.

The country of Chile is flying hundreds of tons of food and water to the damage zone of Saturday's massive quake and international aid is flowing as well.

Brazil and Argentina are sending field hospitals, doctors and rescue teams.

Rescuers are still finding signs of life. Authorities believed 60 people died when a 14-story building collapsed. But rescue workers heard knocks and other sounds. Now, crews are drilling through concrete to try and reach survivors.

Officials say the quake and tsunami killed more than 700 people. And the World Health Organization says the toll will rise as communications improve.

Coastal residents suffered the most -- first from the quake and then again as the waves from a tsunami swept away their villages.

"It took away everything," a survivor said. "Lives, houses, everything that we had. The waves swept away all."

Ghislaine Acevedo of Tennessee is a Chilean native who has been trying to communicate with her family in Chile.

"The first thing we tried to do was communicate with everybody, but the phone lines were down," Acevedo said. "We tried to go on the computer to see if anybody was on, but it had just happened so nobody had time to react."

There is word now that her family is safe, but for others, the wait goes on.

The structural damage in Chile is massive. A bridge in the area was meant to withstand earthquakes but clearly did not. And an 180-year-old newspaper building is in ruins, along with many others. Along the coast, residents are recovering from both quake and tsunami damage.

Many survivors are now focused on just the basics. People are waiting in long lines at banks, desperate for cash and many more are lined up for drinking water.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of soldiers are patrolling the worst hit areas to try and stop looting. Still, some store owners are having to defend themselves.

'I must be armed," a store owner said. "Because they have been attacking my store at least three times a day."

Unlike Haiti, Chile has the expertise and many resources to rebuild. But with such extensive damage, it will need international aid.

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CBN News
Heather Sells

Heather Sells

CBN News Reporter

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