March 1st, 2010
04:40 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Death & Looting in Chile

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/interactive/2010/02/world/gallery.large.chile/images/chile2.jpg caption="Boats lie next to a building in Talcahuano on Monday after they were taken ashore by a tsunami caused by the earthquake. (AFP/Getty Images)" width=300 height=169]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight in Chile we're following the relief efforts and riot control following Saturday's massive earthquake. Soledad O'Brien will be reporting from Concepcion, the country's second-largest city. That's where she says looters are leaving the biggest aftershocks. Crowds of people, young and old, are breaking into stores taking whatever they can get their hands on: Appliances, cell phones, clothes and food.

At one point Soledad saw a military truck with a water hose zero in on a crowd, while soldiers on the ground with guns did nothing to stop the looters.

Many people are calling on the military to step up security.

"We don't want to spend one more night in the darkness and in fear," Jacqueline Van Rysselberge told CNN Chile, our partner network in the country. "We are no longer hungry, we are so scared."

Amid the looting is a scene of death. More than 700 bodies have been recovered. Officials fear the death toll will climb.

But it's a much different scene in the capital. Electricity and water is restored in Santiago and about 90 percent of the city's stores are back open.

As part of our coverage tonight we're also going to look at which American cities face the biggest threat of a massive earthquake, like what hit Chile and Haiti. Yes, Los Angeles is on the list. But can you guess which other big city could face the "big one"?

We also have the raw politics from Capitol Hill where one senator put 2,000 people out of work today and could keep millions from receiving unemployment benefits. That one senator is Kentucky's Jim Bunning (R) and he's refusing to answer questions about why.

We also have new details on the mysterious assassination of a Hamas leader in Dubai. Sources close to the investigation tell CNN Mahmoud al Mabhouh was suffocated after he was drugged. They also say there are now 27 suspects linked to the murder. Many of them were caught on a hotel surveillance camera. Dubai officials insist the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad, carried out the attack.

Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10pm E.T. See you then.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Laura

    How can you protect someones goods when there is so much fear and not knowing what will come next. Let them have it! I just don't understand what makes people feel the need to finally get the chance to "take"something they feel they deserve!

    March 2, 2010 at 12:44 pm |
  2. ben oberge

    Instead of sending out help to these country's why not stop all of it and help our own americans. We have veterans living in the street and many more homeless.

    March 2, 2010 at 5:16 am |
  3. 2martins

    If you don't want to see looting after something like this, then dispatch people to bring water and food immediately and take care of handing out/accounting for the food and water in stores in that area and have the gov't pay for it. This could be sort of like eminent domain. They would pay the store for what they took at a reasonable amount (ie, not retail, perhaps, but not quite cost either.)

    The water was cut off and many people's food was in their destroyed houses. What are they supposed to do? The stores weren't open to buy things.

    I am prepared with 3 days of food and water at home at all times and enough food and water in my car for at least a day, but if my home were destroyed and there was no water, power, etc, I could easily end up in the same position. If someone is stealing a tv, a a watch, any luxury item- that's looting. Someone taking water, food, first aid, for someone that needs it to live is helping. I would do my best to account for and pay for what was taken when it was possible again to do that, but I would take necessary items from a store if that was the only way I could get those items.

    March 2, 2010 at 2:19 am |
  4. Julie Mock

    My dear friend, Barbara, is in her 13th floor apartment in Santiago with her children. All of their belongings are ruined, there is no food to cook, no money in the ATM's and no food in the stores to buy. She is terrified of the many people walking around with guns, so they stay in their apartment.

    Her great hope is that CNN will show the international community how horrible their situations is in Chile.

    March 2, 2010 at 2:13 am |
  5. Doris-California

    Wish you were in Chile – could have had much better & longer broadcasting – have to watch the news on the Chilean TV station to even know what is happening regarding bad earthquake. Hope they get the help they need as soon as possible.

    March 2, 2010 at 1:27 am |
  6. Frank

    I spoke to my sister in Chile tonight(chatted).a She had no idea what 72 hour emergency preparedness kit was; never mind a 6 month or one year supply of food. An obvious lack of common sense on the part of civill authorities who should have placed this concept in their books all along. It still is not too late.

    March 2, 2010 at 1:25 am |
  7. Frank

    I don't understand why Michelet waited so long to place the army, knowing that looting would follow

    March 2, 2010 at 1:15 am |
  8. Daniel

    This is just to highlight that Firefighters, the ones that perform search and rescue duties, are completely voluntary in Chile. They are doing a great job.

    March 2, 2010 at 1:14 am |
  9. Veronica

    Anderson, I don't think the deathtoll should be used as a measure of how bad a disaster is. The devastation in Chile is enormous. Chile's earthquake is a if US I-10 were severely damaged+ 2 Katrina New Orleans+some of Haiti's collapsed buildings/rescues+a pinch of the Indonesian tsunami. The damage is vast and wide. Although lack of proper building codes obviously had a huge part in Haiti's high deathtoll so did the fact that Port Au Prince was so densely populated. Having lived through hurricanes Hugo and Katrina, I've come to realize that it is impossible for any government to be immediately prepared to handle emergencies of this magnitude. People must plan to fend for themselves for a time, perhaps hours or days;to help one another. I have observed that disasters can bring out the best in people but unfortunately, also the worst . May God Bless the victims & may we, all ,reach out and help them. Fuerza Chile

    March 2, 2010 at 1:12 am |
  10. C.Kelly Ovett,Ms.

    You know Anderson, are we hear in America prepared for this kind of disaster?I pray that it will never happen though I can't help but wonder should it happen,would we be as prepared for it as our government is for all the issues it faces now with reaching agreements on health care, unemployment benefits 'ect..What a sad,sad, mess our government is in.God help us all.God bless you Anderson,and you're large compassionate heart.

    March 2, 2010 at 12:13 am |
  11. Kim

    Having lived through the 1971 Sylmar earthquake in California, I can sympathize with the earthquake victims in both Haiti and Chile. It's a horrible and terrifying experience. I do not endorse looting, however I can see why people are trying to get food and water. It's a matter of survival. Where does one draw the line?

    March 2, 2010 at 12:12 am |
  12. C.Kelly Ovett,Ms.

    I agree with you Pilar.Anderson is wonderful at what he does.I also know how hard it will be for him to have to face all the death and destruction again so soon.I'm thankful all your family is safe.Got bless them and all the others.

    March 1, 2010 at 11:53 pm |
  13. Felix Solis,SD,CA

    We Create But the Earth Destroys, Tables turn when u at least expect it.How can you have the adasity to charge a country money with out the country being notified of the Earthquake heading towards them.I believe the money situation shouldn't be involved at all. Thank-You, send my prayer for the ones in Chile, GodBLeSS

    March 1, 2010 at 11:45 pm |
  14. Marsha Jaenke

    Anderson, Chile is a beautiful country and I think too that you should go – to show the North Americans what they don't know about Chile and its people. The aid would come faster if the spotlight was on them from CNN!

    March 1, 2010 at 11:34 pm |
  15. Annie Kate

    The show has been very good tonight. I particularly liked the part about depression and suicide – it was very informative. Especially emphasizing that depression is a condition that affects so many people and that 1/5th of them end up as suicides. Depression runs in my family; so the information was good to get.

    I can't believe the devastation in Chile – not as bad it seems as Haiti but still terrible. At least Chile seems to have a better infrastructure to help its people than Haiti did.

    March 1, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
  16. Zona

    Why is it that Americans seem to be so energized to assisting other countries, but we cannot help those children that are homeless, hungry, and dying in the United States? Why are their veterans under bridges, children with cancer, and mother's who need food in the United States, but we are sending millions to support other countries? Have we not heard of "putting our oxygen mask on first?" Yes, for the most part the United States is a fortunate country, however, opportunities have been lost and many American citizens need help.

    March 1, 2010 at 10:47 pm |
  17. Pilar Schmidt SLC Utah

    I'm grateful that my family is safe in Chile, but it is so hard to watch the devastation of my beautiful country from the distance. i wish you were in Chile Anderson, because you always seem to get things moving specially the much needed relief efforts.

    March 1, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  18. Sabrina in Los Angeles

    Very sad that violence erupts...I wish we could get things fixed fast enough for them.

    There will be more harm from the looting then good.

    March 1, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  19. Joel Pimentel

    These whales need to be released back to the wild which is their natural habitat. These whales swim hundreds of miles in a daily basis and eat multiple pounds of fish daily. These whales haven't done anything wrong to be locked up in a pool of the size of a pond.

    March 1, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  20. Marcus

    I don't agree with stealing but when your life is in danger it becomes survival. I'm not mad if they are looting food, water and clothes....If it were here in D.C, it would be TV's, Cell Phones and Cars. God Bless the victims of the recent quakes...

    March 1, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  21. Murray Schellenberg Winnipeg

    Anderson , you must be in shock and tired of seeing this type of human behaviour after this type of disasters.
    Why is it that these countries think that this type of thing would never happen.
    We need to be prepared for such things. It blows my mind that the militaries are not trained for this or are they????
    What type of control is required and how many can be there within minutes.
    World class countries should have policy in place in regards to such violence and looting. You don't have to kill any one/ all you need to do is let them know in case of disaster you will be put to sleep by the use of animal tranquilizer and arrested if seen looting / or putting anyone in harms way.
    We always go to the extreme measure,,which cause more trouble.

    March 1, 2010 at 9:59 pm |