Friday, March 5, 2010

Chilean death toll revised downward

Concepcion, Chile--The death toll in Chile was revised downward Thursday as authorities reviewed discrepancies in the reported number of dead in the Maule region.
Deputy Interior Minister Patricio Rosende said the casualty count in Maule, originally reported at 587, included more than 200 people who are missing but not confirmed dead. Therefore, the official nationwide death toll is lower than the 802 figure given by emergency authorities.In an attempt to reduce confusion, Rosende read aloud the names of 279 Chileans who had been killed and identified by Thursday evening. He said he would update that official number regularly. This new tally does not account for hundreds of unidentified victims.
With disasters of this magnitude, "the number of dead change daily," Rosende said. "It takes months sometimes to compile the information because one of the biggest problems in the affected areas is the lack of precision and uncertainty at the scene"...

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