MOSCOW, September 17. /TASS/. Russia’s Emergencies Ministry has said it is ready to help Chile deal with the aftermath of the powerful earthquake that hit the country on Wednesday.
Russia’s Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov has sent a telegram to Chile's Interior Minister Jorge Burgos extending his condolences and pledging assistance of Russia’s rescuers.
"I would like to offer practical free-of-charge assistance of Russia’s Emergencies Ministry in combating the effects of the disaster. Please inform us if the forces and means of Russia’s Emergencies Ministry may be useful for Chile in the fight against the natural disaster," the telegram reads.
The National Seismological Center at the University of Chile said the 8.4-magnitude earthquake occurred 42 kilometers from Canela Baja, in the country’s north. The quake had the depth of 11 kilometers and was followed by at least 15 aftershocks.
Five people have been killed. Eyewitnesses said the earthquake had caused high-rise buildings to sway. The neighboring Argentina, including Buenos Aires, also felt the tremors.
Chile was hit by a 8.8-magnitude earthquake in 2010, which was followed by a tsunami. More than 500 people died and around 220,000 houses were destroyed. It took Chile several years to recover from the quake.