Thursday, February 29, 2024

The death toll in Chile’s devastating fire has risen to more than a hundred

The number of people who died in the devastating fire that hit the region of Valparaíso 100 kilometers west of Santiago rises to 112, where only 32 have been identified, the Chilean Undersecretary of the Interior reported this Sunday evening, Manuel Monsalve.

After the meeting of the Disaster Risk Management Committee (Cogrid), based on the latest data collected by the Legal Medical Service (SML), Monsalve detailed that there are a total of almost 40,000 people affected by the destruction of houses, either full or low intensity.

According to the official projection, which has not yet been verified on the ground, in Viña del Mar there will be an impact of up to 12,122 houses, while in Caleraone, one of the fire’s epicenters, there are 2,700.

The president of Chile, Gabriel Boric, said this Sunday that “this is the greatest tragedy we have experienced as a nation since the earthquake of February 27, 2010.”

The authority confirmed that the weather conditions are expected to remain in place to facilitate eradication efforts: “The main change is that we will stop the extreme conditions, the high temperatures will remain, but not excessive, and we will have cloudy mornings, which is more favorable for fire prevention,” he explained.

Forecasts show that, if the weather and the work continue, the largest outbreak, that of Lago Peñuelas/Las Tablas Reserve, next to the main highway in the area, which has already burned almost 8,500 hectares, and in Lo Moscoso, in Quilpué, with 1,550 hectares burned, can be monitored for the next few days.

“There is no imminent danger to people’s lives, but they are active, and the work continues,” added Monsalve.

The government has decided to advance the curfew from 6:00 p.m. local time (21:00 GMT) in the sectors that have not been evacuated from the cities of Quilpué, Villa Alemana, Limache, and Viña del Mar, a move intended to speed up rescue efforts and clear evacuation routes.

Due to the timing of the fires and the location where they started, authorities believe many of the fires were set on purpose.

“It’s hard to think that anything can be done. Such miserable and heartless people are capable of creating so much death and pain. But if there are those people, we will find them, and they will have to face the rejection not only of the whole society but also of all the weight of rights and laws, said Boric on Sunday, who ordered two days of national mourning starting Monday.

According to the balance provided by Monsalve, there are 165 fires recorded in the country, 11 more than Saturday, where 40 more are fighting, 112 were controlled, and four were extinguished.

Although there are fires of lower intensity in almost all regions of the center and south of the country, this Sunday afternoon the alarms went off because of a forest fire in the community of Galvarino, in the southern region of La Araucanía. According to the undersecretary, so far 10 hectares have burned, and it is necessary to evacuate the residents of the area.

“There will be an impact on agricultural land, but no impact on houses at this time,” the authority said of this new focus.

“Firefighting is being done in different areas of Chile. No place is not protected,” he concluded.

World Nation News Desk
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