Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Navy Suffers Brunt of Earthquake Damage
Chile's navy has been the military branch most damaged by the Feb. 27 earthquake. The ensuing tsunami destroyed much of the Talcahuano naval base and most of the Asmar shipyard. A new ocean research vessel, set to be launched the same night of the quake, suffered some damage. Some coast guard boats were lost. An offshore patrol vessel being built for Iceland was badly damaged. Navy commander Adm. Edmundo Gonzalez said the navy's capital spending plans will be re-prioritized to get Talcahuano and Asmar back to normal, a process that could take years. The navy has insurance coverage for a lot of the damage. The submarines based in Talcahuano escaped any serious damage, as did an Ecuadorian sub undergoing refit at Asmar. The blog Armada de Chile y Otros is doing a good job tracking the navy's damage and its role in the relief operations.