Santiago, March 13 (Coal Geology) Chilean President Sebastian Pinera has said the Feb 27 earthquake and the following tsunami had cost the nation tens of billions of dollars and left an impact that would be felt for years.
[ReviewAZON asin="081186183X" display="inlinepost"]Pinera Friday said at a press conference that the 8.8-magnitude earthquake, the fifth largest ever recorded in the world, would also make Chileans spiritually stronger, Xinhua reported.
‘The people of Chile have shown their courage. I believe we will be able to overcome this tragedy,’ he said.
Nearly 500 people were killed and two million injured or displaced in the temblor and the resulting tsunami.
The president added that reconstruction work after the quake will last many years and will require an adjustment to the nation’s budget plan for the current year.
‘There will be austerity in public spending, moving money from lower priority projects to reconstruction projects,’ said the president, already well known for being a billionaire before he won the Jan 17 presidential election runoff.
‘We will also use part of savings…to boost reconstruction plans,’ Pinera said. As the biggest copper exporter in the world, Chile has saved $11 billion during the years of high copper prices. The nation owns the National Copper Corporation of Chile (Codelco), the world’s largest copper company.
This weekend, Pinera said he will leave on an inspection tour of some of the worst quake-hit cities and towns, including Concepcion, Talcahuano, Dichato, Pelluhue, Cauquenes, Talca, Iloca and Curico.