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Earthquake rocks Peru, Chile, killing at least 12



Published: Sun, June 24, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Earthquake rocks Peru, Chile, killing at least 12

LIMA, Peru -- A powerful earthquake shook Peru and Chile on Saturday, destroying dozens of homes and knocking out telephone and electricity lines. At least 12 people were killed, Peru's Geophysical Institute said.

At least three people were injured in northern Chile. The quake was also felt in Bolivia.

There were conflicting reports on the quake's magnitude.

The U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colorado, said a 7.9-magnitude quake was registered off the coast of Peru in the Pacific Ocean, 120 miles west of Arequipa. Peru's Geophysical Institute said the quake had a magnitude of 6.

Images broadcast by Canal N television from the Peruvian city of Arequipa showed parts of a historical building crumbled in the central square. Arequipa is 465 miles southeast of Peru's capital, Lima.

Tentative deal reachedin nurses' strike

MINNEAPOLIS -- A tentative agreement was reached on a contract proposal that could end a three-week strike by about 1,350 nurses at two Twin Cities hospitals.

The agreement was reached just after midnight after a full day of negotiations Friday under the direction of a federal mediator, said Minnesota Nurses Association spokeswoman Jan Rabbers.

Nurses at Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina and the Fairview-University Riverside campus in Minneapolis will vote on the proposal Monday or Tuesday, she said.

Friday's meeting was the second between nurses and the hospitals since the nurses went on strike June 3 over pay, benefits and their lack of decision-making authority on staffing decisions.

Belgian lawmakers mullsame-sex marriage

BRUSSELS, Belgium -- The government has approved a bill to legalize same-sex weddings. If approved by parliament, it will make Belgium the second country in the world to recognize gay marriages after its northern neighbor, the Netherlands.

Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt's Cabinet approved the bill Friday night. It is expected to be presented to parliament in the coming weeks and could become law early next year.

"Mentalities have evolved, there is no longer any reason not to open marriage to people of the same sex," the center-left government said in a statement.

Although gay-rights campaigners welcomed the bill, they were disappointed that it does not allow gay married couples to adopt some children.

Bush releases aidfor storm victims

CRAWFORD, Texas -- President Bush will make $500 million available to aid victims of Tropical Storm Allison in five states, the White House said Saturday.

The money, to be released Monday, will be used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to aid people affected by the storm in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi and Pennsylvania, the White House said.

The president was criticized by senators of both parties earlier this week for moving too slowly to provide money needed to deal with the disaster.

Bush has said he wants to avoid emergency spending, arguing that Congress has abused it in the past.

Troops put out blazeat ammunition site

MOSCOW -- About 1,000 Russian soldiers extinguished a fire Saturday that had ignited container cars full of ammunition and rockets at a military base in Siberia, officials said.

Five servicemen who had been standing guard at the base before the fire started Friday were initially reported missing, but were later found unharmed, ITAR-Tass news agency reported.

Officials quoted by ITAR-Tass said the cause of the fire was lightning, but NTV television reported that local prosecutors had opened an investigation into safety violations on the base.

NTV showed videotape of a crater with an exploded rocket sticking out of it and damage to a roof five miles from site of the fire in the Chita region, about 3,000 miles east of Moscow.

Fuel tanker crashforces road to close

DENVILLE, N.J. -- A fiery fuel tanker crash damaged a bridge on one of the state's busiest roads, forcing lanes to close at least through Monday morning's rush hour.

The crash on Route 80 occurred Friday when a tanker carrying 3,200 gallons of gasoline swerved to dodge a stopped tractor-trailer and overturned. A third truck slammed into the stopped trailer and both burst into flames.

The driver of the tractor-trailer was seriously injured; the other two drivers suffered minor injuries. Flaming fuel spilled into a nearby brook, where it killed fish and wildlife.

The intense heat cracked concrete support beams for a roadway bridge, the state Department of Transportation said.

Associated Press




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