February 24, 2024

Brighton Journal

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At least 46 people have died in Chile as a result of forest fires sweeping through densely populated areas.

At least 46 people have died in Chile as a result of forest fires sweeping through densely populated areas.

Intense Forest fires are burning around a densely populated area in central Chile The floods left at least 46 people dead and destroyed about 1,100 homes, officials said on Saturday.

“It is certain that the number of victims will rise in the coming hours.” He said Chilean President Gabriel Boric on Saturday.

Chilean Interior Minister Carolina Toha said there are currently 92 forest fires burning in the center and south of the country, where temperatures have been unusually high this week.

The most violent fires occurred in valparaiso area, The authorities urged people not to leave their homes so that fire engines, ambulances and other emergency vehicles could pass more easily.

Toha did not provide any details about the dead.

Residents are evacuated with the help of the military after a fire broke out in Valparaiso, Chile.

Lucas Aguayo Aros/Anadolu via Getty Images


She said two fires near the towns of Quilboy and Villa Alemana had scorched at least 8,000 hectares (19,770 acres) since Friday. One of the fires was threatening the coastal resort of Viña del Mar, where some neighborhoods were already badly damaged.

In Villa Independencia, a hillside neighborhood on the eastern edge of the city, several blocks of homes and businesses were completely destroyed. Burnt cars with broken windows littered the streets covered in ash.

“I've been here for 32 years, and I never imagined this would happen,” said Rolando Fernandez, one of the residents who lost his home. He explained that he first saw the fire burning on a nearby hill on Friday afternoon. Within 15 minutes, fire and smoke erupted in the area, forcing everyone to run for their lives.

“I've worked all my life, and now I have nothing left,” Fernandez said.

Firefighters work to extinguish the fire that broke out in the city of Valparaíso, Chile.

Lucas Aguayo Aros/Anadolu via Getty Images


Three shelters have been set up in the Valparaíso area, and 19 helicopters and more than 450 firefighters have been brought to the area to control the fires, Toha said. She added that rescue teams are still struggling to reach the most affected neighborhoods.

The fires are burning in inaccessible mountains and affecting precariously built neighborhoods on the edge of Viña del Mar.

Officials also reported a power outage as a result of the fire. In the Valparaiso region, four hospitals were evacuated as well as three nursing homes, Toha said. The Interior Minister said that the fire also destroyed two bus stations.

The El Niño weather pattern has caused droughts and higher-than-normal temperatures along western South America this year, increasing the risk of wildfires. In January, fires destroyed more than 42,000 acres of forest in Colombia, after weeks of dry weather.

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