Devastated by quake, Chile asks Canada for help

OTTAWA - Devastated by a powerful earthquake that killed more than 700 people, Chile is asking Canada for help.

OTTAWA - Devastated by a powerful earthquake that killed more than 700 people, Chile is asking Canada for help.

A list of urgently needed equipment sent to the Canadian government includes a temporary field hospital with surgical facilities, electricity generators for hospitals, a pontoon bridge and satellite phones.

Chile's ambassador to Canada, Eugenio Ortega, told CBC on Monday that he sent the letter with the urgent needs to Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon.

Canada stands ready to provide any necessary assistance to the people of Chile during this time of need, the Department of Foreign Affairs said on its website.

The toll of dead from the magnitude-8.8 quake rose to 723, with 19 others missing.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said 520 Canadians known to be in Chile had been contacted as of Monday afternoon, while 337 others had not yet been located.

The World Health Organization said it expected the death toll to rise as communications improve. For survivors, it said access to health services will be a major challenge and noted that indigenous people living in adobe homes were most at risk.

International aid has already started to flow. Argentina says it is sending six aircraft loaded with a field hospital, 55 doctors and water treatment plants. Brazil is sending a field hospital and rescue teams.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is bringing 20 satellite phones when she visits. It's the first part of a much larger U.S. aid package.

 
 
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