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Chile Begins 3 Days of Mourning for Quake Victims


Chileans are beginning a three-day period of national mourning for the hundreds of people killed in the country's devastating earthquake.

National flags are flying at half-staff across Chile Sunday in honor of those who died when the 8.8-magnitude quake and tsunami struck the country last week.

Officials are still struggling to establish an accurate death toll. The Chilean government has lowered the official number of people killed by the quake from more than 800 to 452. Authorities say they will add victims to the count only after their remains have been positively identified.

The earthquake destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes, leaving two million people homeless. Sanitary conditions are a growing concern for people still living on the streets.

Health officials have begun a vaccination program to help prevent the spread of disease, administering tetanus and hepatitis vaccine to those at risk in disaster zones.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited quake survivors on Saturday. At the site of a toppled apartment building, Mr. Ban said, "We are with you...our hearts are with you."

A charity telethon to raise money for relief supplies received pledges of nearly $60 million -- twice the goal of organizers. Some of Latin America's biggest stars performed on the broadcast.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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