Poverty in Chile

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English 10 IB – 6th hour

February 9,2011

Effects of the Earthquake in Chile

Natural disasters occur all over the world every year, devastating millions of people. On February 27, 2010, tragedy struck millions of lives throughout Chile. An earthquake lasting nearly three minutes with a magnitude of 8.8 destroyed an estimated 500,000 homes, schools, hospitals, and other buildings, leaving countless Chileans homeless (Kurczy). This earthquake was 500 times stronger than the earthquake that occurred in Haiti, and caused severe damage in central Chile (Kurczy). It’s the second strongest earthquake to ever hit Chile and one of the top ten strongest in the world (“Chile’s Earthquake”). The 2010 earthquake in Chile left millions of Chileans in poverty which led to an increase in malnutrition; however, even with a more powerful earthquake, Chile still remains in better condition than Haiti. Chile is home to about 16 million people (Kurczy). Near the end of 2009, it was estimated that there were 2.7 million Chileans living in poverty (“More Chileans”). After the earthquake struck, it pushed half a million more people below the poverty line (Locker). So in 2010 there were about 3.2 million Chileans living in poverty due to the earthquake (Locker). The main reason for this poverty was all the buildings that were destroyed caused many people to lose their jobs, especially in the central and southern parts of Chile (“More Chileans”). “It is estimated that 17.3 percent of the population in the most affected regions lost their homes in the disaster, and the number of people unemployed rose from 620,000 in 2009 to 700,000” after the earthquake (“Quake”). Over 40% of the Chile’s wealth is located in 10% of the populations hands (“Chile - Statistics”). This just shows how inequitable the income distribution is in Chile. Due to all of this poverty in Chile, not many families can afford to eat everyday which then leads to malnutrition....
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