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Earthquake hits Northern Chile

Official data collected 24 hours after an earthquake registering 7.8 degrees on the Richter scale hit Northern Chile, indicates that there have been two deaths, 15,000 people injured and about 4,000 houses damaged.

The earthquake hit the regions of Tarapac√°, Antofagasta and Atacama and in the worst affected districts, 40 percent of the houses are uninhabitable and the population has no access to drinking water. The hospital in Tocopilla has suffered serious structural damage and a provisional campaign hospital has been set up.

The National Emergency Office (ONEMI) and the Chilean Air Force dispatched 14 tons of aid comprising bunk beds, mattresses, blankets, kitchen kits, tents, ponds and non-perishable food.

There were also two strong aftershocks that exceeded 6 degrees on the Richter scale.

Two Oxfam humanitarian officers are currently in the area to make an initial assessment as to whether Oxfam assistance is needed.

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