Chile earthquake death toll rises above 700, Ski Portillo sustains minimal damage

Posted By: The Ski Channel on March 1, 2010 8:33 am

Chaos reigns in earthquake-ravaged Chile right now. Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has imposed a dusk to dawn curfew in the two provinces closest to the epicenter of the quake as looters have begun to run wild in Concepcion.

The army was sent in overnight to enforce curfew and to establish some control. The country has also asked for international aid. Military commander Guillermo Ramirez said “I would advise criminals not to mess with the armed foces. Our response will be severe, but within the context of the law”.

Many of our readers have sent us emails asking us about the status of Ski Portillo. The ski resort is located 100 miles from Santiago, near the city of Los Andes. It has been open since 1949, and in 1965, it hosted the alpine skiing World Championships (despite many ski lifts on the west side of the valley being destroyed by massive avalanches earlier in the year).

We have learned that the hotel and staff are all doing well. There has only been minimal damage sustained, and it seems Ski Portillo has come out of this mess OK.

We hope for the best for everyone involved with this natural disaster.