A devastating earthquake hit on Saturday 27 February at 3:34 am (1:34 ET) on the coast of Chile, killing 221 people so far, according to official government figures. At least they would have been half a million families affected by the earthquake which had an intensity of 8.8 º.

This earthquake has seriously affected the infrastructure of various regions of the South American country.

"We are asking everyone to stay calm, to be patient," Chilean President Michelle Bachelet told reporters after inspecting some of the damaged areas. "We assure everyone that emergency crews are working to resolve these issues."

Bachelet declared areas of catastrophe, similar to a state of emergency, which will allow her to rush in aid. She said the town of Chillan -- which was destroyed by a killer quake in 1939 -- was one of the worst affected.
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