Chilean government says errors made in quake toll tally

March 22nd, 2010 - 11:55 am ICT by IANS  

Santiago, March 22 (IANS/EFE) The Chilean government has acknowledged that errors were made in compiling the official list of the people who died in last month’s earthquake. It has now offered a new corrected figure of 342 deaths.
“The existence of duplications and some cases that cannot be … deaths directly caused by the earthquake,” several media outlets reported Friday, leading to the corrections, the interior ministry said.

On Friday, Deputy Interior Minister Rodrigo Ubilla said that 452 people had died in the quake, of whom 359 were identified with their complete name, their identity card and for whom death certificates have been issued.

On the list of the 359 people available on the interior ministry’s website, however, in more than 50 cases names had appeared twice in different spots on the list, or people with different names but with the same identity card number had appeared.

The government corrected the number of dead identified by identity card and death certificate and reduced to 342 the official death tally, 17 fewer than before.

Health Minister Jaime Manalich, meanwhile, estimated at $2.8 billion the cost of reconstructing the hospitals damaged by the magnitude-8.8 temblor and tsunami Feb 27, a media report said Sunday.

–IANS/EFE

rd/mj

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