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Chile Lowers Official Quake Death Toll to 528


A United Nations humanitarian agency says Chile has lowered the official death toll from last week's devastating earthquake to 528.

The U.N. Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says the previous toll of 800 included a number of people who were displaced by the magnitude 8.8 earthquake. The agency says an estimated two million people were affected by the quake.

Meanwhile, the U.N. World Food Program says it has made its first delivery of emergency food supplies into Concepcion, Chile's second largest city. That city is near the epicenter of the quake.

The WFP reports that on Friday, it airlifted part of a planned 70 metric-ton shipment of high energy biscuits into the area, enough to feed 35,000 children for five days. Another airlift is set for Sunday.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is expected to be in Concepcion Saturday to meet with the heads of 22 U.N. agencies operating in Chile.

The secretary-general and Chile's president, Michelle Bachelet, took part in a telethon in Santiago late Friday, designed to raise $29 million for earthquake relief efforts. The president wrote a personal check for the relief drive and Mr. Ban pledged up to $10 million from a United Nations fund for quake relief.

Powerful aftershocks continue to rock Chile. The strongest one Friday had a 6.6 magnitude and rattled south-central Chile.

President Bachelet has said it could take at least three or four years to rebuild the country.

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