Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Town Hopes to Recover From Chile Quake

QUILLAGUA, Chile (AP) — Residents of this tiny desert town expressed hope Friday that their first visit ever by a Chilean president will spur recovery after a huge earthquake damaged dozens of homes.

Touring the region the day before, President Michelle Bachelet promised that within 15 days the most urgent housing problems would be solved in Quillagua, where about half of the hamlet's 60 homes were damaged.

"We had strong earthquakes here before," said resident Erwin Delgado. "Let's hope this time we will really be helped after her visit."

But others worried that the damage could be tough to overcome in rapidly shrinking Quillagua, where decades of nearby copper mining have reduced river levels and contaminated what little water still flows, making small farming difficult. Today it is home to just 100 mostly elderly residents, down from several hundred a decade ago.

Here is the full article.