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Strong Aftershock Jolts Chile


A strong aftershock caused panic Wednesday among citizens in Chile five days after a massive earthquake killed more than 800 people. Some residents of the coastal town of Concepcion ran for higher ground Wednesday after feeling the 5.9-magnitude aftershock.

Concepcion is Chile's second-largest city and was closest to the epicenter of Saturday's 8.8 magnitude quake that caused widespread damage and triggered a tsunami. Numerous aftershocks have jolted Chile since Saturday's temblor.

Separately, an 18-hour curfew was implemented in Concepcion. 14,000 troops were dispatched to hard hit areas to keep order and oversee aid distribution efforts. Some residents there have taken steps to ensure their security, setting up roadblocks to keep track of everyone entering their neighborhoods.

President Michelle Bachelet has said looting and lawlessness will not be tolerated. She has instructed troops to act with what she called the "severity" necessary to prevent crime.

She has also urged residents to remain calm and work together to rebuild the country. The Chilean leader said more than 2 million buildings, including 500,000 homes, were damaged in the quake.

On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in the midst of a Latin American trip, met with President Bachelet at the airport in Santiago to discuss aid needs. Clinton brought with her 25 satellite phones as an initial contribution.

President Bachelet has described the quake as an emergency "unparalleled in the history of Chile." The earthquake that struck the South American country is among the top eight strongest quakes ever measured.

Some of the information in this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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