SANTIAGO – The death toll in the magnitude-8.3 earthquake that struck northern Chile has risen to 11, the director of the National Emergency Office, or Onemi, announced on Thursday.
Ricardo Toro also said that the nine people known to have been injured in the quake are all out of mortal danger.
The latest fatality was a fisherman identified as Victor Hugo Torres.
The number of people who lost their homes in the quake stands at 610, with 179 houses totally destroyed, 175 with serious damage and 288 with minor damage, the Onemi chief said.
The temblor especially affected the region of Coquimbo, some 300 km (186 mi.) north of Santiago, leaving 87,653 people without electricity and another 9,070 without potable water service.
At this time, 428 people remain in shelters established by the authorities, Toro told a press conference.
Around 1 million residents along Chile’s Pacific coast were ordered to evacuate following Wednesday night’s quake due to fears of a tsunami.
President Michelle Bachelet, who on Thursday traveled to the disaster zone to evaluate the damage firsthand, said that “the shelters are for the support of everyone.”
“There are still aftershocks. People have to know what happens in an aftershock, what to do, what not to do, how to try and keep calm amid the anxiety it causes,” said Bachelet, according to remarks reported by Cooperativa radio.
Toro emphasized the speed with which the navy’s Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service and the National Seismological Center issued the tsunami alert, a move that allowed the rapid evacuation of communities along more than 4,000 km (2,500 mi.) of the country’s Pacific coast.