March 12 - CSL, a marine insurance industry provider of professional claims, risk control and recovery services has released a further update of conditions in Chilean ports and hinterland, two weeks after the country was rocked by a major earthquake on Fe

Yesterday on HLPFI's website, the company reported on damage to the gantry cranes at San Antonio Terminal, the closure of Talcahuano port, problems at San Vincente port and how three of the four crossings of the River Bio Bio have been severely damaged or destroyed by the earthquake.

New on-the-ground intelligence from CSL's Major Incident Response Team and local agents show that conditions are still not easing for the maritime or cargo industries.

CSL reports that the Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service operated by the Chilean Navy has issued multiple urgent Notices to Mariners about navigational buoys out of position or disappeared, land based navigational marks and lights destroyed, out of action or working at reduced power.

Coronel port is reported to be operational with minimal damage from the earthquake and associated wave activity. The port depends upon mobile cranes to handle general cargo but there are no confirmed reports regarding the current operating status of the cranes at this time.

Penco port remains inoperative with little validated information about port installations and infrastructure.

Two ships remain stranded in Talcahuano Bay.

Structural damage to roads and bridges continues to severely impact movement of people and cargo in the earthquake zone. It should be considered that whilst a number of port facilities are reported as being "operative", road access to the port areas in the earthquake zone continues to be severely hampered. Main arterial roads and secondary roads are also damaged and those which remain open are heavily congested.

From March 9, the CSL partner office in Talcahuano has been fully operational with office infrastructure and landline and mobile communications functioning. Three marine surveyors are active in the field conducting business as the local circumstances permit.