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Fear, despair haunt Chile coast

March 6, 2010 | 11:57 am

Chile_earthquake_dichato

Barely a building remains standing in this once-pleasant beach resort that slopes up from Chile's Dichato Bay, a scenic cove largely shielded from the open Pacific.

The row of eateries and bars that once lined the shore are smashed to pieces. The central plaza is a pile of debris: splintered wood beams, bent metal roofs, dented gas tanks, fences, broken trees and kitchen appliances, among other objects. Fishing boats have been tossed a mile into town and beyond.

The magnitude 8.8 earthquake that struck Chile last week clearly caused a lot of damage, but here and in other coastal communities it was the ensuing tsunami that proved most destructive.

Residents in Dichato said the waves came ashore between the headlands over several hours, engulfing houses, boats, cars and everything else in their way.

Continue reading "Chile's coast haunted by fear, desolation" from Chris Kraul in Dichato.

Photo: A painting lies amid the ruins of a home in Dichato, a small beach enclave where 17 people died and as many as 50 are missing. Credit: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times.

RELATED:

Photos: 8.8 earthquake rocks Chile.

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