Submitted by Lucy Wrapson on
It is feared that the city of Valparaíso, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, may have been damaged by the 8.8 Richter scale earthquake that hit Chile on 27 February, resulting in the loss of more than 700 lives. The extent of the damage to Chile's cultural heritage has not yet been established as efforts concentrate on humanitarian relief in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake. The coastal city of Valparaíso was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003 due to its historical interest and beauty. UNESCO cite Valparaíso as an exceptional late 19th-century Latin American city in a natural amphitheatre-like setting. It is well-known for its verncular architecture and church spires which dot the hillsides as well as the numerous funicular railways found in the city.