Chilean government confirmed Chaiten town to be abandaned. (29 January 2009)
When asked if the Chilean government was looking for means of forcing people to leave Chaitén, the minister said that ‘we cannot carry on with people who, either through obstinacy or ignorance, continue to defy such challenging problems as those we face. We will not use any coercion or force anyone to go. The people are big enough, they know what to do. We have asked a thousand times that they leave there. If they stay they do so at their own risk’. He also pointed out that the people remaining in Chaitén were putting the lives of others at risk, not only police and other public officials but also their own children: ‘Regarding the situation of the children, he said ‘we want people to understand once and for all that they are risking their own lives, but they are also risking the lives of their children’. He said that three children were known to be still in Chaitén.
21 February 2009