Rescue teams look for quake survivors

Residents look at a collapsed building in Concepcion. (AP)

Rescuers were edging their way towards residents trapped in a toppled apartment block and survivors were huddling around bonfires in the rubble of their homes as the death toll in Chile continues to rise after one of the strongest quakes in history.

Authorities put the official death toll from Saturday's 8.8-magnitude quake at 214, but say they believe the number will grow. They say 1.5 million Chileans are affected and 500,000 homes have been severely damaged by the temblor.

A tsunami caused by the quake that swept across the Pacific killed several people on a Chilean island but caused little damage in other countries. The tsunami warning was lifted a day after the earthquake.

President Michelle Bachelet, who leaves office March 11, called it "a catastrophe of devastating consequences".

The country experienced at least 90 aftershocks following the massive quake in the past 24 hours. Some aftershocks were as high as 5 on Richter scale.

 

Flood alert in uk

 

Much of England and Wales was on flood alert yesterday, with further prolonged heavy rain, lightning and strong winds expected after torrential downpours overnight.

The Met Office issued a severe weather warning for London and the south east of England, saying as much as 35 millimetres of rain was expected to fall on already saturated ground, which might result into flooding.

 

Another quake

 

A moderate earthquake has rattled northern Pakistan and Afghanistan but there are no reports of injuries or damage.

Pakistani Government Meteorologist Qamar Zaman Chaudhry said the earthquake happened early yesterday.

It was felt in Pakistan and in Kabul, the capital of neighbouring Afghanistan. The US Geological Survey said it was magnitude 5.7, and was centered in the Hindu Kush mountains.

 

Tsunami hits Japan

 

Japanese officials said a tsunami wave almost three-feet, or one-metre high has hit coastlines in northern Japan in the wake of the major earthquake in Chile, but there are no reports of damage.

The country's emergency agencies had earlier ordered thousands of people living along the coast to move inland. Japan's Meteorological Agency said the three-foot wave was the third to reach Japan yesterday.

 

Storm in France

 

Fierce rain and strong winds have left at least 12 people dead as a violent storm battered France.

Most of the victims drowned, while others died when hit by parts of buildings or trees that were ripped off in the winds.

Nearly 900,000 people were without electricity yesterday. Winds reached about 200km an hour on the summits of the Pyrenees Mountains.

 

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