Clinton Arrives in Chile, Promises Help

'We'll be here to help when the others leave'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2010 1:24 PM CST
Clinton Arrives in Chile, Promises Help
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, extends her arms as she is greeted by Chile's President Michelle Bachelet, at the airport, Santiago, Tuesday, March 2, 2010.   (AP Photo/Jorge Sanchez)

Hillary Clinton arrived in Chile today, embracing president Michelle Bachelet and promising assistance. The US is already preparing to send water purification units, temporary bridges, a field hospital, and medical supplies, the secretary of state said. She delivered 25 satellite phones intended to help coordinate relief efforts. “We’ll be here to help when others leave,” she said, “because we are committed to this partnership with Chile.”

Bachelet also had a list of requests, including portable dialysis machines and tarps for tents. Bachelet, who has just 10 days left in her term, has been criticized for being too slow to request aid and react to the crisis. Tens of thousands of Chileans are without food, water, or shelter, the New York Times reports. Bachelet has sent thousands of government troops to Concepción, one of the harder-hit cities, amid reports of widespread looting and lawlessness. (Read more Chile stories.)

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