Death Toll Rises in Chile as Looting Hampers Rescue Efforts

"They're afraid to go back in their homes, as anyone would be with aftershocks," said Tracy Reines, international response director of the American Red Cross. "The Chilean Red Cross has about 30 to 40 local Red Cross branches in the area, so they do everything from first aid to food, [and] soon will be emergency shelter and the like."

Helicopter footage early Sunday showed damage to highways, entire neighborhoods leveled and other areas flooded.

Rescue Effort in a Toppled Apartment Building

In the southwest coastal city of Concepcion -- the second-largest city in Chile with a population of 670,000 -- extensive damage included a newly opened 15-story apartment that toppled backward, trapping an estimated 60 people inside, the AP reported. Rescuers only managed to free 16 in the first 24 hours after the earthquake, and continued to work with two power saws and an electric hammer on a generator that was running out of fuel.

"It's very difficult working in the dark with aftershocks, and inside it's complicated," Paulo Klein, who was leading a group of rescue specialists from Puerto Montt, Chile, told the AP. "The apartments are totally destroyed. You have to work with great caution."

Gas and power lines snapped in the city, starting a fire at the local university, according to the AP.

Looting broke out in Concepcion by Sunday morning.

"I think the most critical need is probably the restoration of electricity and water in certain parts of the country," ABC News' Melia Patria reported from Santiago. "When people don't have electricity and water, I think that's where we're seeing a lot more looting because people are restless and they need resources."

Police used water cannons and tear gas to scatter people who forced open the doors of the Lider supermarket in Concepcion, the AP reported.

The government is working with power companies to restore disrupted electrical supplies, Bachelet said, adding that she is asking the private sector to pitch in on other emergency matters, too.

"In coordination with the largest supermarket chains, I have disposed the free distribution, in the regions of Maule, Bio Bio and some sectors of Araucania, of all products of main necessity that are stored in their facilities so they can be given away in a coordinated, orderly [manner] and in the places authorities decide and communicate to the citizens," Bachelet said.

"Also," she said, "in the next few hours we are expecting to normalize commercial air traffic, both nationally and internationally."

The Red Cross announced Saturday that it had raised at least $50,000 for aid to the earthquake-ravaged country. To learn more about how you can donate, visit www.redcross.org.

"We have received multiple offerings of international support and we have opened several lines and we have already mentioned that we'll have a global perspective on this to know what we were going to request in terms of international aid," Bachelet said. "Chile is a country that can resolve some of these issues itself, but there are other areas where we are going to receive support."

Bachelet said those areas likely would include emergency field hospitals, mobile bridges, communication systems, electrical systems and possibly rescue teams and water purification systems.

U.S. officials said there have been no requests for U.S. aid yet, though the United States can provide "helos for evacuations, satellite communications, imagery and some supplies all at working levels."

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