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'Tomorrow Could Be Worse,' Chile's President Says

  • Reuters

FILE - Chilean President Michelle Bachelet is trying to cope with a series of natural disasters that have plagued her nation. "It doesn't help anyone for me to get frustrated," she said in an interview.

FILE - Chilean President Michelle Bachelet is trying to cope with a series of natural disasters that have plagued her nation. "It doesn't help anyone for me to get frustrated," she said in an interview.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said she had a slogan to keep her going as her country battles one natural disaster after another: "Tomorrow could be worse."

During an interview Wednesday on a breakfast TV program, Bachelet discussed how she coped with leading Chile through the world's biggest earthquake in 2015 as well as two major volcanic eruptions, floods, fires and tsunamis since returning to the presidency in March 2014.

"I have come to invent almost a slogan: 'Cada dia puede ser peor,' " she told Chile's Mega channel. That roughly translates as: "Tomorrow could be worse."

Last week, an 8.3-magnitude quake and tsunami hit Chile's Coquimbo area, killing 13 and leaving hundreds homeless. Strict building regulations and swift evacuations kept the death toll relatively low.

Bachelet, who previously governed Chile between 2006 and 2010, traveled to the afflicted area to meet victims whose houses had been destroyed.

"It doesn't help anyone for me to get frustrated," she said in the interview.

In recent months, approval ratings have plummeted for the center-left president as the economy has slowed and the country's political and business class has been embroiled in money-in-politics scandals.

That has helped fuel persistent rumors that she might resign, as well as gossip about the state of her health. Bachelet has repeatedly dismissed the talk and questioned its apparent origins on social media.

"I suggest that everyone takes no notice of these rumors," she said. " ... I see no reason to resign."

Bachelet, 63, said she had been treated for some years for high blood pressure but that the state of her health was "super-good."

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