by Alexander Manda
TALCAHUANO, Chile, March 7 (Xinhua) -- Angel Bustamente could not stop crying as he saw scenes of pervasive destruction in this port town, which was hit by a tsunami triggered by the Feb. 27 megaquake.
"The port is just dead," he told Xinhua on Sunday with tearful eyes, looking over a dock where trucks, containers and fishing boats all fell apart under the powerful force of nature.
"There is going to be terrible poverty here," he added.
Talcahuano was an industrial port in Chile's southern Maule region, importing food from overseas while exporting fish and manufacturing goods. There was also a shipyard that built boats for naval and commercial use.
All that has come to a stop since Chile was struck by a magnitude-8.8 earthquake and a tsunami, which drove 2.5-meter-high tidal wave into the port town.
"The port stops working, and people here will be jobless," said Francisco Bustamente, Angel's brother, a municipal official whose home is on the seafront.
"In the port, everything has been destroyed," he said.
Talcahuano port was used to store goods and containers on their way in and out of Chile. The impact of the tsunami has reduce many containers to twisted metals, and salty water has corroded the machines that had been used for transportation and manufacture only a week ago. Organic stuff has rotted down to a toxic mix of sulfuric acid and carbon.