Residents picked through the rubble of destroyed buildings in central Chile on Thursday after a magnitude 8.3 earthquake killed 10 people and sent powerful waves barreling into coastal areas, forcing more than 1 million people from their homes.Violent aftershocks continued to shake the South American country on Thursday morning and local residents said they feared another big quake, although the government lifted its tsunami warning.”Everything is a mess. It was a disaster, a total loss. Bottles and glasses shattered and the pipes in the bathroom and kitchen burst,” said restaurant owner Melisa Pinones in the city of Illapel, near the epicenter of Wednesday’s quake.In the coastal town of Los Vilos, residents tried to salvage belongings from dozens of beachfront homes that were destroyed or severely damaged when the strong waves swept in. The government had ordered evacuations from coastal areas after the powerful quake hit, seeking to avoid a repeat of a quake disaster in 2010 when authorities were slow to warn of a tsunami and hundreds were killed.The latest quake and the heavy waves that followed caused flooding in coastal towns and knocked out power in the worst hit areas of central Chile, although most buildings held up well. The quake was felt as far away as Buenos Aires in Argentina.The northern port city of Coquimbo suffered major damage. Chile’s navy said the city was hit by waves of up to 4.5 meters (15 feet). Large fishing vessels washed up onto Coquimbo’s streets, others splintered and listing, littering the bay with debris, television images showed.President Michelle Bachelet, who said her government “learned a series of lessons” from previous disasters, began a tour of damaged areas in the town of La Serena, near Coquimbo. It was the strongest quake in the world this year and the biggest to hit Chile since 2010.”We’re going to have go on the ground to see what the damages are and see where help is needed,” Bachelet said.In Illapel, some businesses began opening and heavy machinery moved in to start clearing up the rubble. While there were generally few calls for more help, some residents accused the government of inaction.”Ministers came, looked and said a few words but nothing more. That’s how politicians are here,” said a hardware store worker who identified himself as Mauricio. He added that he was still without electricity and running water.
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