With a population of 1. The Region has been hit by many Chilean earthquakes , including the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in and the great earthquake of Many communities in the region were greatly affected by the earthquake of and the subsequent tsunami. That earthquake damaged Talcahuano and Dichato ; the tsunami destroyed much of what remained of the port town. The Department of Rere was a vital settlement area of Chileans and the three-hundred-year struggle until the s to defeat the strong indigenous tribe of the Mapuches. In connection with the census, reflecting a total population of 1,, inhabitants, there was a population growth of 7.
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The major tributaries of the river are the Malleco and the Laja. The river flows east for a few kilometers to the point where it receives the waters of the near Icalma Lake , through a short stream. It then turns its course northwestward, meandering through a broad Andean valley and merging with some minor tributaries, as are the Lonquimay and the Rahue. The Lonquimay is fed by some glaciers of Sierra Nevada and passes close to the town of the same name. Then the river, along the lower course of its tributaries in this area, is impounded by Ralco Dam. Below the dam, the river skirts a southwestern spur of Callaqui volcano before falling into Pangue Reservoir.
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