Russian airmobile hospital to help Chile quake victims

March 14, 2010 2:44 pm 

MOSCOW, March 14 — Two Russian emergencies ministry planes have arrived in Chile carrying rescuers, supplies and equipment including a mobile hospital to help the earthquake-stricken country, a ministry's spokeswoman has said.

"Two Il-76 transport planes have landed in Santiago," the spokeswoman said, adding some 50 doctors arrived in the country on board the planes.

On February 27, an 8.8-magnitude earthquake occurred to the north of the country's second largest city Concepcion. According to official reports, 497 people died as a result of the tremor.

The quake was followed by a series of aftershocks and tsunamis leaving some 2 million Chileans homeless and destroying or damaging at least 500,000 houses.

On Thursday, a fresh 7.2-magnitude quake occurred some 150 kilometers (93 miles) to the south-west of the country's capital, Santiago. The tremor caused significant damage in the city of Rancagua, some 100 kilometers (62 miles) to the south of Santiago.

Following the quake, Chile's new President Sebastian Pinera declared a "state of catastrophe" in the quake-hit area, where some 780.000 people live.

Pinera said on Friday it will cost at least billion to rebuild the country after the devastating February earthquake.

The Chilean leader said he would also call for help from other nations and the country, which has one of the most stable economies in Latin America, could raise money on international markets on favorable terms to finance part of the reconstruction.

Russian specialists have worked to help the victims of disasters both in Russia and around the world, including in Turkey, Afghanistan, Iran, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and South Ossetia.

Three Russian Il-76 planes were involved in rescue operations in Haiti, where the devastating January 12 earthquake killed over 220,000 people in and around the capital Port-au-Prince. (PNA/RIA Novosti)

LDV/rsm

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