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智利向联合国请求国际援助

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Chile Seeks International Aid

Chile's government asked the United Nations to provide international aid, two days after a giant earthquake ripped through the South American nation, killing at least 700, crushing buildings and sparking looting rampages in the hard hit south.

Speaking Sunday, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet sought to reassure Chileans that the government was up to the task of rebuilding, though she predicted the death toll from one of history's most powerful earthquakes would rise.

But as police and troops sought to restore civil order, efforts to determine the scope of destruction from Chile's earthquake were undermined by a string of aftershocks Monday that turned more buildings into rubble.

In the southern city of Concepción, closer to the epicenter, firefighters searched for an estimated 60 people trapped inside a tall apartment building that toppled onto its side.

One rescuer there was lowered deep into the rubble when tear gas fired at looters across the street forced him to pause efforts. Police had imposed an overnight curfew to control looters who sacked virtually every market in the city.

Across the Bio Bio River in the city of San Pedro, looters cleared out a shopping mall. A video store was set ablaze, two automatic teller machines were broken open, a bank was robbed and a supermarket emptied, the Associated Press reported.

Ms. Bachelet dispatched 10,000 troops to restore order and help rescue efforts in hard-hit southern towns. Ms. Bachelet predicted the number of dead would grow. Two million people were displaced, she said.

'We're facing an unthinkable catastrophe that will require an enormous effort in resources,' Ms. Bachelet said in a nationally televised address.

The magnitude 8.8 quake, the fifth-biggest ever measured, struck off Chile's coast around 3:30 a.m. local time Saturday, toppling buildings, twisting roadways and driving deadly waves into seaside towns. Damage to power and communications systems further hindered rescue efforts.

Most of the confirmed deaths so far are in the Maule region on the Chilean coast, which was closest to the epicenter. As much as 80% of some towns in the region was destroyed, officials said.

In a televised speech, Ms. Bachelet sought to reassure Chileans that the government had resources to restore order and rebuild. She said mobile dining halls in public schools would soon deliver up to two million meals a day in the most damaged regions.

Chile may also seek international aid for field hospitals, mobile bridges, telecommunications equipment, power generators, water-purification equipment and rescue workers to replace exhausted local crews, she said.

Government officials said restoring electricity is a top priority, especially to hospitals. 'In general, we are going to be able to restore electricity in the next 24 hours in most of the country,' Rodrigo Castillo, head of the electric power companies association said Sunday.

Repairing twisted roads, collapsed bridges, communications systems and other infrastructure will take more time. One of the two bridges that connect the main north-south highway along this long, thin Andean country collapsed during the earthquake. Workers were preparing to erect a pontoon bridge. 'Road damage was worse than what I expected,' Sergio Bitar, Chile's public-works minister, said at a news conference.

Economists sought to gauge damage to the infrastructure of Chile, the world's biggest copper exporter. The temblor shut several copper mines and refineries-at least temporarily-and will hurt commerce. State-run copper concern Corporación Nacional del Cobre, however, reopened El Teniente, the world's biggest underground mine, late Sunday, though its Andina mine remained closed. Analysts expected copper prices to open higher on Monday because of supply disruption. 'Chile is to copper what the Middle East is to oil,' says ANZ senior commodity strategist Mark Pervan.

While Chile's death toll is expected to rise, earthquake experts said it remains relatively low considering the quake's size. The quake's deep, offshore epicenter muffled its impact on a sparsely populated nation.

But preparation by quake-conscious Chilean governments also played an important role. Chile has enforced strict building codes since the late 1970s to limit earthquake damage.

Chile's earthquake released 500 times more energy than the quake that ravaged Haiti in January, said Paul Caruso, a geophysicist at the National Earthquake Center in Golden, Colo. Though much smaller, Haiti's quake has claimed at least 220,000 lives because its epicenter was shallow and near a capital where many structures were built with virtually no oversight.

'Chile knows about earthquakes and was well prepared,' Mr. Caruso said. All the same, had such a quake occurred right by Santiago or any other city, 'the city would no longer exist,' Mr. Caruso said.

智利向联合国请求国际援助

地震发生两天后,智利政府请求联合国提供国际援助。袭击这个南美国家的大地震造成至少700人死亡,建筑物损毁,南部重灾区出现了抢掠行为。

智利总统巴切莱特(Michelle Bachelet)周日发表讲话时,努力安抚智利民众说,政府有能力承担重建工作。不过她预计,这场历史罕见的地震造成的死亡人数还将上升。

但就在警察和军队努力恢复社会秩序时,周一又发生多起余震,使更多建筑沦为废墟,因此对地震破坏程度的评估工作受到影响。

在接近震中的南部城市康赛普西翁,一幢高层公寓楼倒塌,估计有60人被困,消防员展开了搜救。

一位搜救者正进入废墟深处时,向街上抢掠者施放的催泪瓦斯迫使他暂停搜救。警方此前曾实施宵禁,以控制洗劫了该市每一个市场的抢掠者。

在圣佩德罗市内的比奥比奥河边,一座购物中心被洗劫一空。据美联社(Associated Press)报道,一家音像店被纵火,两台自动柜员机被打开,一家银行被抢,一家超市被抢空。

巴切莱特派出了10,000人的部队,以恢复南部重灾区的秩序并帮助救援。巴切莱特预计死亡人数将会上升。她说,有两百万人流离失所。

巴切莱特在一次全国电视讲话中说,我们面对着一场不可想象的灾难,这场灾难将要求我们在提供资源方面做出巨大努力。

这场8.8级地震是有测量数据以来的第五大地震,于当地时间上周六凌晨3点30分袭击了智利,掀翻了建筑,撕裂了马路,并掀起海浪给海边城镇造成人员死亡。电力和通讯系统受损,进一步阻碍了救援行动。

到目前为止,多数已证实的死者都来自于智利海岸的马乌莱地区,这一地区离震中最近。官员称,该地区一些城镇多达80%的部分已被摧毁。

巴切莱特在一次电视讲话中努力安抚智利民众说,政府拥有恢复秩序和进行重建的资源。她说,设在公立学校的移动食堂将很快能在损失最惨重的地区每日发放最多两百万份饭食。

她说,智利可能还会请求国际社会提供临时医院、移动桥梁、电信设备、发电机、水净化设备,并派遣救援人员接替疲惫不堪的国内救援人员。

政府官员表示,恢复电力是重中之重,特别是医院电力的恢复。电力企业联合会负责人卡斯蒂约(Rodrigo Castillo)周日表示,在总体上,我们将能够在未来24小时恢复全国多数地区的供电。

修复受损道路、桥梁、通讯系统和其他基础设施将需要更多时间。智利是安第斯山脉西麓的一个狭长国家,连结其主要南北高速公路的两座桥梁已有一座在地震中坍塌。工人们正准备修建一座浮桥。智利公共工程部长比塔(Sergio Bitar)在一次新闻发布会上说,道路受损情况比我预想的严重。

经济学界努力评估这个世界最大铜出口国的基础设施受损程度。地震迫使智利多家铜矿关闭──至少是暂时关闭──并将给商贸带来损失。但国营铜企智利国家铜业公司(Corporaci口n Nacional del Cobre)拥有的世界最大地下矿山El Teniente在周日较晚时候恢复了运营,不过该公司的Andina矿山仍然关闭。分析人士预计周一铜价将因供应中断开盘走高。澳新银行(ANZ)高级大宗商品策略师珀尔文(Mark Pervan)表示,智利之于铜相当于中东之于石油。

虽然智利的死亡人数预计还将上升,但地震专家表示,考虑到地震的规模,死亡人数仍然相对较小。地震震中较深,并且处于海中,削弱了对这个人口稀少的国家产生的影响。

智利各届政府防震意识较高,做了充足准备,也起到了重要作用。自上世纪70年代晚期以来,智利执行了严格的建筑法规,以控制地震的影响。

美国国家地震信息中心(National Earthquake Information Center)地球物理学家卡鲁索(Paul Caruso)表示,智利地震所释放能量超过1月份海地地震的500倍。该中心位于美国科罗拉多州果登市。海地地震虽然震级小很多,但造成至少22万人丧生,原因是震中较浅,并且接近该国首都,而这里很多建筑都是在没有监管的情况下修建的。

卡鲁索表示,智利对地震有了解,并有充分准备,不过,要是这样一次地震就发生在圣地亚哥或任何其他城市附近,“这座城市将不复存在”。
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