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by Michael J. Shapiro | March 03, 2010

Turismo Chile is reporting updates on the five tourism regions within the country, following Saturday's powerful 8.8-magnitude earthquake. According to the agency, the country overall was well prepared for such a disaster and, despite the rising death toll, is reporting relatively little damage to the tourism infrastructure. Here are the updates:
Desert: The north of Chile hasn't suffered any damage.
Easter Island: The island, which lies 2,300 miles off the coast of mainland Chile, wasn't affected by the quake. Tsunami warnings have been lifted and all operations are normal.
Santiago and central region: Santiago's airport reported structural damage to the passenger terminal, but none to the runways. The airport reopened yesterday in a limited capacity. Flight operations will resume in two phases:
     Phase 1 – March 2 to 5, 2010 - Domestic flights will gradually resume operations with a limited schedule between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. and international flights also with a limited schedule will be operating between 8.pm and 8 a.m. A temporary makeshift terminal has been set up in tents in order to process departing passengers. All arriving international flights during this period will stopover in another Chilean city prior to landing in Santiago in order for passengers to clear Chilean customs and immigration formalities.
     Phase 2 – March 5th onward  - Domestic and international flights will be operating 24 hours. All domestic flight arrivals and departures will be operating out of a makeshift terminal set up in tents located to the east of the airport's old terminal. International flight departures will move to the domestic flights sector of the current terminal. International arriving passengers will clear Chilean customs and immigration formalities in a makeshift facility set up in tents to the west of the current terminal.
     All passengers should contact their airline for updated information on flight schedules and changes.
     Damage was reported in Valparaiso and Viña del Mar; contact Turismo Chile for details.
Lakes and volcanoes: The northern part of this region, around Concepción and the Bio Bio River, suffered the most damage from the quake; officials are still assessing the extent. The southern part of the region was less affected, and operations in tourist towns such as Pucon, Puerto Varas and Puerto Montt are normal.
Patagonia: The far south of the country hasn't reported any damage.
Contact Turismo Chile at ofitur@embassyofchile.com for additional information.