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11/15/2007

15,000 homeless in Chile quake

BREAKING EARTH NEWS
CHILE
Image: A man walks by cars covered with debris in Tocopilla, Chile, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2007, a day after a 7.7 magnitude quake hit Chile. The powerful earthquake hammered the country's north on Wednesday, killing at least two people and injuring more than 150. (AP Photo/Miguel Mercado) More Photos

TOCOPILLA, Chile - Strong aftershocks from a powerful earthquake hit northern Chile on Thursday as the government erected a working military hospital and promised hundreds of other portable dwellings for 15,000 left homeless by the quake.

Government and army workers scrambled to distribute tons of food, water and medicine after the 7.7 magnitude quake struck near the desert village of Quillagua in the foothills of the Andes on Wednesday, killing at least two people and injuring more than 150.

Major aftershocks shook the region Thursday, including one of magnitude 6.2 and another of magnitude 6.8, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The earthquake destroyed or damaged 4,000 houses and the local hospital, blocking roads, crushing cars and knocking out power across northern Chile, officials said.

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