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Chile Forest fire killed 112 people in Valparaíso region

Chile Forest fire killed 112 people in Valparaíso region

Chile Forest fire killed 112 people in Valparaíso region

Chile Forest fire killed 112 people in Valparaíso region

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  • At least 112 people have died in forest fires in Chile’s Valparaíso region.
  • The government advises people against traveling to the fire-hit areas.
  • Authorities imposed a curfew in Viña del Mar, Limache, Quilpué, and Villa Alemana.
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Forest fires in Chile’s Valparaíso region have claimed the lives of at least 112 people, according to local authorities. A state of emergency has been declared by Gabriel Boric, who pledged to allocate “all necessary resources” to address the crisis.

This marks the deadliest forest fire in Chile’s history, affecting many individuals who were visiting the coastal region during the summer holidays.

In response to the situation, the health ministry in Valparaíso implemented a health alert, leading to the suspension of elective surgeries and the authorization of temporary field hospitals. To alleviate pressure on the health service, the ministry also announced the hiring of medicine students nearing the end of their studies.

The most severely affected areas have posed challenges for rescue services in reaching them, and Interior Minister Carolina Tohá has warned that the death toll will “reach much higher figures” in the coming hours.

The Chilean government is advising people against traveling to the fire-hit areas.

Describing the ordeal as “hell,” 61-year-old El Olivar resident Rodrigo Pulgar told the news agency that he attempted to assist his neighbor but became aware that his house had started to burn.

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“Ash was raining down on us,” Mr Pulgar added.

Most residents in El Olivar, explained Rodrigo Pulgar, are older people, and he noted that his neighbor died because they couldn’t evacuate her.

The fires impacted between 3,000 and 6,000 houses, as reported by the housing ministry.

On Saturday, authorities imposed a curfew in Viña del Mar, Limache, Quilpué, and Villa Alemana. President Boric stated that the curfew aims to clear routes and facilitate the access of emergency vehicles to affected areas.

Addressing the nation, the interior minister announced the deployment of 1,400 firefighters on Sunday, with military personnel supporting emergency services. An investigation into the cause of the fires is underway.

To prevent further complications, the government has prohibited the handling of fire and heat-producing machines in Valparaíso and the nearby Marga Marga region.

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The coastal town of Valparaíso, located 116 km (72 miles) from the capital Santiago, attracts many tourists during the summer.

Deadly wildfires plagued the regions of Biobío and Ñuble last year, further south of Valparaíso, suggesting a disturbing trend of increasing frequency and lethality.

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