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Toll of Homeless Raised To Near Half Million In Quake

March 15, 1985

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) _ The recent earthquake in central Chile left 492,682 people homeless, one out of every 24 Chileans and more than double the previous estimate, a government relief official said Thursday.

Brig. Gen. Jorge Lucar, commander of the general emergency office, said the March 3 quake destroyed 57,625 homes and damaged 117,744 others so badly that their occupants had to move into temporary shelter. He also reported destruction or serious damage to 994 schools and 22 hospitals.

The quake, which measured 7.4 on the Richter scale, killed 146 people and left more than 2,000 injured.

On March 6, the number of homeless had been estimated at 200,000.

Economy Minister Modesto Collados estimated material damage to homes, buildings, ports, bridges, highways and other public works at $538 million. The damage was concentrated in Santiago, the nearby city of Melipilla and the Pacific port cities of San Antonio, Valparaiso and Vina del Mar.

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