New Chile President Sworn In Amid Aftershocks
New Chilean President Sebastian Pinera was sworn in on Thursday amid earthquakes that seem to remind him of rebuilding a country that has just been devastated by one of the strongest quakes in history. Buildings swayed as seven aftershocks, the strongest of which at 6.9 magnitude, struck one after the other while Pinera was being inaugurated.
Officials and guests who included President Evo Morales of Bolivia and Peruvian leader Alan Garcia had to evacuate the congressional building in Valparaiso where Penira took his oath as precautionary measure. The country’s Navy and emergency office, maligned for their less-than stellar response when the 8.8-magnitude quake hit Chile on February 27, quickly issued a tsunami alert and ordered coastal residents to move to higher ground. Some observers believe that many of the deaths caused by the February 27 quake would have been avoided had the emergency center quickly issued a tsunami warning on that fateful day.
Meanwhile, Pinera has vowed to quickly go to work and start the arduous task of not only rebuilding the areas destroyed by the quake and the tsunamis that followed, but also to help survivors return to normalcy.