Chile hit by series of natural disasters

Chile hit by series of natural disasters

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A series of natural disasters from flooding to forest fires have hit Chile, with emergency services on the scene and travel restricted.

Severe flooding has affected the Tarapaca and Atacama regions in northern Chile, including Antofagasta, Copiapó, San Pedro de Atacama and Chañaral.

Ten people are reported to have been killed, 19 are missing and hundreds have lost their homes in floods in the Atacama desert region, normally one of the driest places on earth.

“The region is experiencing intermittent power supply, cuts to communications, shortages of drinking water and food and damages to roads and infrastructure,” the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said in an updated travel advisory.

“Flight availability is restricted, and tours in San Pedro have been cancelled.

“We advise British nationals planning to visit these areas to consider whether their journey is absolutely necessary, and to check with tour operators where relevant on the status of their tour.”

Forest fires are affecting El Maule, Bio Bio, Araucania and los Rios regions with a state of catastrophe declared by the authorities.

National parks and natural reserves affected include China Muerta National Reserve, Valle de las Aguilas National Reserve, Conguillio National Park, Nalca Lolco National Reserve and El Nuble National Reserve.

Meanwhile, an exclusion zone within a 5km radius from the active Villarrica volcano has been established.

“We advise British nationals planning to visit these areas to follow the instructions of the National Emergency Office, ONEMI,” the FCO said.


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