A curfew on Chile’s earthquake-ravaged Concepcion has been extended until midday today in a bid by troops to contain looting from damaged shops and buildings by panicked residents. “Dozens of people were arrested after looters fought over goods and set fire to a department store. The authorities have announced they are setting up an air bridge to deliver aid from the capital, Santiago, to Concepcion. Saturday morning’s 8.8-magnitude quake killed at least 723 people. The deteriorating security situation in Concepcion comes despite the influx of thousands of troops to reinforce local police. Many of the city’s 500,000 inhabitants are short of food and have seen their water and electricity supplies cut off. Some residents quoted by Reuters news agency said they were organising groups to defend their property. President Michelle Bachelet, condemning ‘pillage and criminality’, has sent 7,000 soldiers to the region.‘I want to call to the people’s conscience. We must all work together,’ she said. Meanwhile, rescuers searching the rubble of a collapsed apartment building in the city in which dozens are feared trapped say they have heard signs of life and are attempting to reach survivors.”
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