Chilean authorities extended a curfew in the country’s second-biggest city on March 2 as troops struggled to contain worsening looting and crime in the wake of a devastating earthquake. A night-time curfew in the badly damaged city of Concepcion was extended until midday after looters burned stores and residents complained of deteriorating security and slow government delivery of food and other basic supplies. Despite the arrival of thousands of troops to reinforce local police, authorities were struggling to restore order in the city that bore the brunt of the Feb. 27 8.8-magnitude quake that killed at least 723 people. The devastating quake struck as Latin America’s most stable economy was trying to recover from a recession brought on by the global financial crisis. The total economic damage from the quake could exceed USD15 billion, the catastrophe risk firm AIR Worldwide said. (Reuters)

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