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CONCEPCION, Chile – Chile’s government scrambled on Monday to provide aid to thousands of homeless in coastal towns devastated by a massive earthquake and tsunamis as 10,000 troops moved into stricken areas to quell looting.

The government sharply raised the death toll to 711 from Saturday’s 8.8-magnitude quake as harrowing scenes of destruction emerged in isolated towns swamped by the giant waves that were triggered by one of the strongest earthquakes in a century.

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With many people missing and some communities in the worst-hit central region of the South American country still largely cut off by mangled roads, President Michelle Bachelet said the death toll was certain to rise. Chile requested international aid from the U.N. on Monday, officials said.

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