Huge Wildfire Destroys Homes In Chile Tourist City

Huge wildfire destroys homes in Chile tourist city

SANTIAGO, Jan 3 (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 03rd Jan, 2017 ) - A wildfire ravaged 50 hectares of woodland and destroyed homes in the tourist city of Valparaiso in western Chile, driving the authorities to evacuate hundreds of people on Monday.

At least one person was reported hurt after the fire broke out on the outskirts of the historic port city, the National Emergencies Office (ONEMI) said in a statement. Television pictures showed thick grey smoke filling the streets in the Laguna Verde district, where the blaze struck, and flames devouring green hillsides.

Hundreds of firefighters along with water-dumping airplanes and helicopters were battling the blaze, officials said. "Emergency protocol have been activated," the country's President Michelle Bachelet said on Twitter.

She expressed "solidarity with the people affected." Located 120 kilometers (75 miles) northwest of the capital Santiago, Valparaiso is home to Chile's national Congress. The flames destroyed five homes and 50 hectares of woodland, ONEMI said on Monday evening.

It reported no fatalities for the time being. Some 200 people were evacuated from their homes as a precaution, the agency added. Electricity providers said they had cut power to nearly 48,000 customers also as a precaution.

Fanned by strong winds in hot summer weather, the fire broke out in the wooded, hilly region that makes Valparaiso a picturesque tourist destination. The authorities issued a maximum red alert.

Your Thoughts and Comments