Chile Death Toll Near 800; Ambassador Says Quake Was 'Unforgettable' : The Two-Way Death toll rises in Chile from Feb. 27 earthquake. U.S. ambassador says quake was "unforgettable."

Chile Death Toll Near 800; Ambassador Says Quake Was 'Unforgettable'

Chile Death Toll Near 800; Ambassador Says Quake Was 'Unforgettable'

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In Concepcion today, a soldier has orders for a man waiting in a line for gas. Evaristo Sa/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Evaristo Sa/AFP/Getty Images

In Concepcion today, a soldier has orders for a man waiting in a line for gas.

Evaristo Sa/AFP/Getty Images

The number of dead from Saturday's massive earthquake in Chile has risen to 795, President Michelle Bachelet has announced, Reuters reports. Earlier today, the death toll stood at 763.

Meanwhile, troops continue to patrol the streets of Concepcion in a bid to restore order in that city, where there's been widespread looting.

On the phone just a short time ago, U.S. Ambassador to Chile Paul Simons told NPR's Michele Norris that there's something of "tale of two earthquakes" to tell in Chile.

In Santiago, he says, "life is fairly quickly returning to normal." But in the south-central region, around Concepcion, "there's some serious issues with public security" and restoring such vital services as electricity, telecommunications and water.

Here's some of what the ambassador had to say about that:

Chile Death Toll Near 800; Ambassador Says Quake Was 'Unforgettable'

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Michele asked Simons what it was like when the earthquake struck. He was at his home in Santiago when the earth shifted. Simons says "it was an unforgettable experience ... 90 seconds of shaking and pounding that didn't seem like it wanted to end, and it rose to something of a crescendo":

Chile Death Toll Near 800; Ambassador Says Quake Was 'Unforgettable'

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More from Michele's conversation with the ambassador will be on today's edition of All Things Considered. Click here to find an NPR station near you. Later, the as-broadcast version of their conversation will be posted here.