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Chile soldiers hunt escaped inmates in quake-hit areas

Chile’s army has been deployed to the northern city of Iquique after some 300 inmates escaped from a women’s jail following an 8.2-magnitude earthquake.

Officials said about 26 had so far been captured since the quake at 20:46 local time (23:46 GMT) on Tuesday.

Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet has declared disaster areas in the northern regions of Arica and Parinacota and Tarapaca, and will visit them later.

At least six people are known to have died and tens of thousands evacuated.

There have been power cuts, fires and landslides as dozens of aftershocks – including a 6.2 tremor – continued through the night,.

But although waves of up to 2.1m (about 6ft) hit some areas tsunami warnings in several areas have now been lifted.

It was not clear exactly how the women inmates escaped from the prison in Iquique.

But Interior Minister Rodrigo Penailillo said a military plane of 100 anti-riot police was being flown to work alongside 300 soldiers already operating in the city.

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