‘Everything is destroyed’ in Chilean coastal town

Monday, March 1, 2010 – Globe and Mail
ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY
With a report from Agence France-Presse

Josselin Benavides doesn’t recognize her home any more.

The 14-year-old has been watching the searing images – waterlogged streets, splintered power lines toppled in front of crumbled buildings; residents drowned in their beds; a fishing boat looking bizarrely huge in the middle of an otherwise razed public square.

But nowhere in the destruction-heavy footage does she see Constitucion, the picturesque coastal town where she grew up and where emergency workers found more than 350 dead in the wake of one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded.

“Of course I remember the city,” she said from Santiago, the Chilean capital, where she now lives and had been scouring the Internet for information. “But now, I look at the news and I recognize nothing – everything is destroyed.”

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