Massive wildfire destroys homes in Chile tourist city

Published on : Wednesday, January 4, 2017

chileA massive wildfire devastated 50 hectares of woodland and also destroyed several homes in the tourist city of Valparaiso that is located in western Chile. This has driven the authorities to evacuate a large number of people.


Reportedly, one person was hurt immediately after the fire broke out on the outskirts of the port city, as declared by the National Emergencies Office (ONEMI) in a certain statement.


Television visuals portrayed thick smoke that filled every nook and corner of the streets in the Laguna Verde district.


In fact, this is the region where the blaze struck. And, flames devoured the green hillsides. A large number of firefighters, along with water-dumping airplanes and also helicopters were fighting off the blaze, as declared by the officials.


Michelle Bachelet who is the President of the country said that the emergency protocol has been activated.


Also, she has expressed solidarity with the people who have been affected by the fire. Located at a distance of nearly 120 kms from the northwestern part of Santiago that is the capital city, Valparaiso is the home to the national congress of Chile.


The fierce flames have destroyed five homes and 50 hectares of woodland, as revealed by the ONEMI yesterday evening.


It has also been reported that there have been no casualties for the time being.


About 200 people had to be evacuated from their homes as a precaution, the agency said.


Electricity providers said that they had to cut the power to about 48,000 customers as a precautionary measure.


It is believed that the fire broke out in the hilly region, provoked by strong winds in the hot summer weather. This part of the world, Valpairaso is a favorable tourist locale.


The authorities have issued a red alert.


Laguna Verde is based on the southern fringes of Valpairaso that is a large city built on 40 hills with breathtaking views over the sea.


This colonial city is dubbed the ‘jewel of the Pacific’ and is a spectacular city that is also an important UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Thousands of tourists visit this place every year to enjoy a leisurely stroll across the narrow, cobbled streets and ride cable cars up the steep hills.


In the year 2014, wildfires had claimed 15 lives and also destroyed many homes in this region, especially in the poorer neighborhoods of the city.


There are approximately 2,70,000 people in the city and many of them have been residing in the beautiful, brightly coloured houses on the hillsides.


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