National Emergency Agency officials say the Chilean death toll is over 300 after the 8.8-magnitude earthquake shook the South American country yesterday. The shock was the most powerful earthquake to hit the area southwest of Chile's capital, Santiago, in 100 years, damaging nearly half a million homes and throwing residents from their beds. After the shock, seven-foot high waves rattled the Pacific, killing at least five people on remote islands. While a massive disaster in itself, the quake poses an incredible challenge for Sebastian Pinera, who will take office as Chile's president in two weeks. "We're preparing ourselves for an additional task, a task that wasn't part of our governing plan: assuming responsibility for rebuilding our country," he said. The effects of the quake were felt as far as 1,800 miles to the east in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and foreign aid has been halted by Chilean officials until the magnitude of the task is clear.