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Forest fires in Chile worsen: 22 dead, 10 missing and more than 45,000 hectares destroyed


These are figures from the government of Gabriel Boric. The flames affect the center and north of the country. There are 171 active sources.

The forest fires that plague the center and north of Chile

They have already razed more than 45,000 hectares and

caused the death of 22 people, while another 10 are missing.

This was announced this Saturday by the Chilean Minister of the Interior, Carolina Toha, in the framework of a press conference held after noon, in which she updated the information on the catastrophe that caused President Gabriel Boric to suspend his vacation scheduled for these days .

“We share the pain and the commitment not only of the Government but of the entire country to act so that this number does not increase.

There are 22 dead from the fires, 10 missing," the official explained.

According to the latest official report, 80 outbreaks are being fought, out of a total of

251 that are active.

Of these, they noted that 151 were brought under control, though none yet fully extinct.

They also reported that there are at least four affected regions, three of which are under a state of catastrophe, along with various communes facing simultaneous outbreaks.

In this regard, the minister stressed: "Beyond the resources available, the situation we are facing has been of great magnitude. At this moment there are

1,111 firefighters who have traveled

from other places to reinforce the endowments that are in the area " .

And he continued about the resources: "There are 1,834 members of the Armed Forces that are being deployed in the area. Between yesterday and today we went from 1,475 to 1,834. Also, 74 land vehicles deployed, six aircraft that went to reinforce the available equipment and four maritime units that have carried out evacuations by sea".

Finally, he highlighted a negative and a positive aspect for the next few hours, which will be crucial to control the fires in the most affected areas.

“We have

some conditions for today and tomorrow that raise new concerns and some improving forecasts.

A major concern is that we have a fairly severe air quality problem.

This translates into recommendations to people with additional vulnerability.

But this generates a drop in temperature as the smoke does not let the sun's rays through," he explained.

Thanks to Argentina for sending equipment to fight the fire

Towards the end of his conference, Toha remarked that help was requested from nearby countries -among them Brazil, Mexico and Spain- and thanked Argentina for sending equipment.

So did Gabriel Boric, who thanked Alberto Fernández through a post on his Twitter account.

"I just spoke with the President @alferdez to coordinate and thank the support of the Argentine Republic in fighting fires. In addition to brigade members, we will receive machinery. We are managing support from different countries to face emergencies. We will not leave them alone!"

The Argentine president, for his part, replied: "Latin American solidarity is our guide to strengthen ourselves. We will always be there to accompany you and help you overcome difficult moments like this. We are a region of brotherly peoples."

There are already more than 45 thousand hectares affected

The regions of Biobío, Ñuble and La Araucanía are the most affected by the fires that have already destroyed more than 45,000 hectares, as well as hundreds of homes.

Consequently, the rapid spread of the flames caused the eviction of dozens of citizens who live in the surrounding municipalities.

The fires coincide with a long drought that has lasted for more than thirteen years and with an unprecedented heat wave in the south, with temperatures that meteorologists warn could reach 40 degrees in the next few hours.

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Source: clarin

All news articles on 2023-02-04

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