Quake rebuilding could take years, says Chile | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 06, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 06, 2010

Quake rebuilding could take years, says Chile

Chile's president says it will take three years to rebuild the region wracked by an earthquake and tsunami, something all too clear to the people cleaning up this splintered tourist town.
Dichato is nestled between pine-forested hills and a lovely sheltered bay where colourful fishing boats served coastal communities and export companies. Its population of 4,000 triples each January and February with tourists many were in town when disaster struck and residents count on that brief summer vacation for much of their income.
The quake and tsunami killed at least 19 people in Dichato and smashed neat wooden houses and small hotels into huge splinter piles. The surge ruined most other buildings in town, which stank Thursday with decomposing fish. One fishing boat marooned far inland was full of rotting octopus.
President Michelle Bachelet said Thursday that she is confident "Chile will rise" from the devastation but not as fast as some might want.
She said it could take at least three years to bring the region back.
"It's going to be it's going to be very hard moving ahead," she told ADN radio.
Bachelet's government had made a difference in Dichato, building 130 neat mustard-yellow duplexes in a public housing project that just opened in September and providing 60 million pesos $120,000 to restore the facades of businesses along main street, said Mabel Gomez, president of the local chamber of commerce.

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