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Chile: Hundreds of forest fires – at least 22 dead

2023-02-04T19:42:52.940Z

More than 250 fires blaze in Chile caused by a major heatwave. So far, 22 people have died, hundreds have been injured and more than 1,500 houses have been destroyed - so far.



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A heat wave has triggered devastating forest fires in Chile.

Photo: Javier Torres / AFP

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According to official information, more than 250 fires blazed in total.

Photo: Marco Vasquez / Aton Chile / IMAGO

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More than 80 of them were not under control on Saturday - despite the tireless efforts of the firefighters.

Photo: Pablo Hidalgo / Aton Chile / IMAGO

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Around 14,000 hectares around Santa Juana in the province of Concepción burned down and buildings were destroyed, as can be seen in this aerial view.

Photo: Javier Torres / AFP

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House on fire: In view of the situation, President Gabriel Boric's government declared a state of emergency in the affected region in the province of Concepción in the center of the country.

"My job as president today is to ensure that all the necessary resources are available in the event of an emergency and that people feel that they are not alone," Boric said.

Photo:

Pablo Hidalgo / Aton Chile / IMAGO

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People are stunned by the burned trees: The forest fires were triggered by a summer heat wave.

Photo: Javier Torres / AFP

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Chilean Rosa Munoz mourns the loss of her house in Tomé: Hundreds of houses have been damaged in the fires across the country.

Photo: Matias Delacroix/AP

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Only rubble: The flames didn't leave much of Rosa Munoz's house.

Photo: Matias Delacroix/AP

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Eaten by the flames: Chile's President Gabriel Boric interrupted his summer vacation on Friday and traveled to Nuble and Biobío, a region about 500 kilometers south of the capital Santiago, which together has a population of almost two million people.

Photo: Javier Torres / AFP

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Fire brigade forces are fighting the forest fires: A state of emergency has been declared in both affected areas, which has resulted in the deployment of soldiers and additional resources.

Help is also expected from Brazil and Argentina.

Photo: Juan Gonzalez / REUTERS

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"Conditions in the coming days will be risky," Interior Secretary Carolina Toha told reporters.

Photo: Javier Torres / AFP

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The inhabitants also tried to erase what could be erased.

Photo: Juan Gonzalez / REUTERS

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People are leaving places like Santa Juana with their belongings strapped to the roofs of their cars, including pieces of furniture.

No one knows what condition the home will be in when they return.

Photo: Marco Vasquez / Aton Chile / IMAGO

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Because the fire eats its way through the forests and does not stop at towns, buildings, stables - and people.

The flames have already claimed at least 22 lives.

In addition, more than 550 people were injured, 16 of them seriously, Interior Minister Carolina Tohá said on Saturday.

Photo: Javier Torres / AFP

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Not much remains of this house in the hills near Tomé.

The people carry away the rubble.

Photo: Javier Torres / AFP

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A man carries a pig to safety in Tomé while firefighters fight a forest fire.

Photo: Daniel / dpa

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There had already been a similar heat wave with fires in 2017.

The weather forecast predicted temperatures of over 38 degrees Celsius in Chillán, the capital of the Ñuble region, on Friday, with strong winds that could worsen fire conditions.

Photo: Pablo Hidalgo / Aton Chile / IMAGO

just

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2023-02-04

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