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Hillary Clinton in quake-hit Chile to offer support

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton greets

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton greets Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, at the airport in Santiago, Chile. (March 2, 2010) Photo Credit: AP

SANTIAGO, Chile - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived in earthquake-ravaged Chile on Tuesday to offer the devastated country moral and material support as it recovers from the deadly disaster.

Clinton flew into the capital of Santiago, delivering much-needed  satellite communication equipment and a technician.

It’s a first installment of what she says will be substantial U.S. relief assistance.

Before the weekend quake struck, Clinton had planned a longer stay in Chile, but she will now only spend a few hours there before heading to Brazil. Clinton is in the midst of a weeklong, six-nation tour of Latin America that has taken her already to Uruguay and Argentina.

Her Santiago visit was expected to be confined to the airport and its immediate vicinity. At the airport, she is meeting outgoing Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and President-elect Sebastian Pinera.

Santiago is the second major earthquake zone Clinton has visited in the past two months. Four days after Haiti was hit with a devastating temblor in January, she was on the ground at the Port-au-Prince airport, meeting with Haitian officials and assessing damage with disaster relief experts.

In addition, since she has been secretary of state, Clinton has also been traveling abroad and present in at least three foreign countries — Honduras, Japan and Pakistan — when they have been struck by quakes or strong aftershocks.

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