Chile seeks international aide following earthquake; curfew in Chile to protect residents against looting; China wants stronger response to Iran's nuclear efforts; North Korea admits currency reform last year a failure; Clinton to visit Argentina; and more
Top of the Agenda: Chila Calls for Interntional Aid
Chile's government called for international aid Monday as the magnitude of devastation from the weekend's deadly earthquake became clear (NYT). The government--which originally refused aid--asked for generators, water filtration equipment, field hospitals, and damage assessment experts. Though Chile is one of the most developed countries in the region, its sizeable rural and urban poor populations suffered most from the quake.
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet imposed (FT) a second night of curfew, and residents were guarded by ten thousand troops, after chaotic looting rocked Concepción and Santiago, the capital. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, due in Santiago Tuesday, said she was taking twenty satellite phones and that the U.S. military would provide a field hospital. The World Bank also offered assistance, and multilateral lenders are expected to offer loans. Chile also has $16 billion in savings from when copper prices, its top export, were high. Rebuilding could cost as much as $30 billion, or 15 percent of Chile's gross domestic product.
Chile's strict building codes helped avert more quake-related deaths, but older structures in the hardest-hit regions caused the most destruction (WSJ) because they were built with adobe.
A Washington Post editorial questions whether Chile's new president, due to be sworn in next week, can effectively respond to the earthquake's aftereffects.
In the New York Times, Andrew Revkin examines the fate of other quake-threatened cities in the developing world, where populations are growing faster than the capacity to house them safely.
PACIFIC RIM: China-Iran Relations
China called for stronger diplomatic efforts (Xinhua) to address the Iran nuclear issue. The statement followed Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's call to consider new sanctions (RFE/RL) against Iran.
North Korea: North Korea acknowledged the failure (Kyodo) of its currency reform last November, saying it confused the money supply and distribution of goods.