A flood in central Chile has claimed the lives of three people, including a 12-year-old girl who was killed after a landslide caused the car she was traveling in to be swept away, according to a report by Reuters Sunday. The bodies of two others were recovered from a river close to the nation’s capital, Santiago.
The heavy rain, which has been battering the South American country since the weekend, has also led to reports of at least 19 missing people.
Officials said overflow from banks in mountain valleys near Santiago was to blame for the mass flooding and mudslides. The heavy rain, which has been impacting northern and central areas of Chile including Antofagasta, Coquimbo, Metropolitan, O’Higgins and Valparaiso was expected to continue well into Tuesday, according to reports.
Near the San Jose de Maipo valley, emergency teams have been working to clear the road in efforts to provide lower grounds for people to find shelter. So far, flooding near Santiago has left a total of 373 people isolated, the National Office of Emergencies of Interior Ministry said in a statement. More than one million people in Santiago have been left without clean drinking water while several homes have been destroyed due to the flood.
A flood wreaked havoc on Chile not long ago back in April 2016. The heavy rainfall in the San Jose de Maipo valley killed one person at the time and caused mining production to shut down at some of the world’s largest copper mines including Codelco, Antofagasta and Anglo American.
Just recently a series of wildfires broke out in Chile, destroying more than 300,000 acres of land in Vichuquen, Maule, Litueche and several other areas in late January. The fires caused the deaths of three people and resulted in more than 140 injuries. It took some 4,000 people including firefighters and residents to quench the forest fires.
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