Chile soldiers hunt es­caped in­mates in quake-hit re­gion

Daily Trust - - INTERNATIONAL -

Chile’s army has been de­ployed to the north­ern city of Iquique af­ter some 300 in­mates es­caped from a women’s jail fol­low­ing an 8.2-mag­ni­tude earthquake.

Of­fi­cials said about 26 had so far been cap­tured since the quake at 20:46 lo­cal time (23:46 GMT) on Tues­day.

Chile’s Pres­i­dent Michelle Bachelet has de­clared dis­as­ter ar­eas in the north­ern re­gions of Arica and Pari­na­cota and Tara­paca, and will visit them later.

At least six people are known to have died and tens of thou­sands evac­u­ated.

There have been power cuts, fires and land­slides as dozens of af­ter­shocks - in­clud­ing a 6.2 tremor - con­tin­ued through the night.

But al­though waves of up to 2.1m (about 6ft) hit some ar­eas tsunami warn­ings in sev­eral ar­eas have now been lifted.

It was not clear ex­actly how the women in­mates es­caped from the prison in Iquique.

But In­te­rior Min­is­ter Ro­drigo Pe­nailillo said a mil­i­tary plane of 100 anti-riot po­lice was be­ing flown to work along­side 300 soldiers al­ready op­er­at­ing in the city.

Hun­dreds of thou­sands of Chileans are spend­ing the night away from their beds be­cause of the evac­u­a­tion or­der.

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