Chile quake, tsunami damage put at nearly 30 billion dollars

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    The massive earthquake that struck central Chile last month, triggering a local tsunami, caused nearly 30 billion dollars in damage, the finance ministry said Wednesday.

    Of the total destruction wrought by the February 27 temblor, one of the worst on record. The government will have to absorb 9.3 billion dollars in costs resulting from the February 27 temblor. The remainder will be picked up by insurance companies (4.9 billion) and the private sector (7.8 billion), the ministry said in a report.

    Additionally, the country will take a 7.6-billion-dollar loss to its output, the report said. President Sebastian Pinera’s government has not yet said how it will finance massive rebuilding needs. The earthquake, which was especially devastating in the Biobio and Maule regions, killed 452 people and left about 100 more missing.

    Santiago, March 24, 2010 (AFP)