Chaos, Looting Spread in Chile

Quake survivors lack food, water, electricity
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2010 4:43 AM CST
Chaos, Looting Spread in Chile
People wait to catch goods thrown from a supermarket window during sporadic looting in Concepcion, Chile, Monday, March 1, 2010.   (AP Photo/ Natacha Pisarenko)

Chile extended a nighttime curfew to noon today as looting and crime intensified in earthquake-damaged cities. Troops struggling to gain control in Concepción fired teargas and shot at least one person dead; a supermarket collapsed in the city last night after looters set fire to it. Authorities warn that criminals are becoming more organized, and that some are turning to robbing houses.

The escalating chaos had many Chileans organizing into vigilante groups to protect their property from looters. Amid the deteriorating security situation, slow government delivery of food and basic supplies also angered earthquake survivors. “We have not got any help from the government," one Concepción resident told the London Times. "We were expecting more and are still waiting for the three basics—food, water, and electricity." The death count from Saturday's quake now tops 700.
(Read more Chile stories.)

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