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Last Updated: Sunday February 28 2010 17:34 GMT

Chile quake 'affects two million'

Chile earthquake

Two million people have been affected by the massive earthquake that hit the South American country of Chile on Saturday, the president has said.

So far at least 350 people have been killed in the 8.8 quake - one of the biggest ever recorded.

It triggered massive waves across the Pacific Ocean and some countries are worried their coasts might be hit.

Thousands of people in Japan have left their homes in case they become flooded.

So far though, the waves haven't been as bad as the experts have warned.

Map
A map of where the earthquake struck

The earthquake struck in the middle of the night off the coast of Chile.

There have also been a number of aftershocks, which are smaller quakes that happen soon after the big one.

The epicentre - the spot where the shockwaves of an earthquake come from - is about 56 miles north-east of the city of Concepcion.

Earthquake damage

Buildings have fallen, telephone lines are down and some hospitals have been evacuated.

The international airport is closed after the quake damaged one of the terminals, and all flights are cancelled.

It means lots of tourists are stranded, and some people are going to sleep in open spaces in the city because they're scared to be inside.

Chile's history

Rescue workers help a woman injured in the Chile earthquake
Rescue workers help a woman injured in the Chile earthquake

Chile gets a lot of earthquakes. The biggest one of the 20th century struck the city of Valdivia in 1960.

The earthquake that hit last night is stronger than the one that hit Haiti in January.

But Chile is a richer country and the emergency services have responded more quickly to the disaster.