Updated February 5th, 2024 at 07:37 IST
Chile Forest Fires Claim 99 Lives In Valparaiso Region, President Declares Emergency
The blazing wildfires at around central Chile's forest area claimed at least 99 lives, claimed the government's Legal Medical Service (SML).
Santiago, Chile: The blazing wildfires at around central Chile's forest area claimed at least 99 lives, claimed the government's Legal Medical Service (SML). A state of emergency has been proclaimed as smoke engulfed the coastal cities of Chile, forcing residents in core regions to flee their homes.
President Gabriel Boric announced on Sunday, following his visit to the affected districts, that Monday and Tuesday would be designated as national mourning days in honour of the fire victims, according to reorts.
He also stated that the death toll "will increase significantly," in a press conference on Sunday.
The governor of the Valparaiso region, Rodrigo Mundaca, announced on Sunday that a curfew was being enforced in the towns of Vina del Mar, Quilpue, Villa Alemana, and Limache so that officials could concentrate on putting out the fires.
Valeria Melipillan, the mayor of Quilpue claimed that the fire was "probably the largest ever" in the area and that around 1,400 homes had been damaged.
Although the evacuation attempts had been effective, Melipillan noted that several residents of the impacted areas had expressed a reluctance to leave their houses.
"Pray for the deceased and injured victims of the devastating fires that have affected central Chile," Pope Francis urged people to pray for those who lost their lives in wildfires, in a post on X.
Meanwhile, Chile's President Boric said in a televised statement on Saturday that the defence ministry would send additional military personnel to the impacted areas and would provide all required supplies.
(With agency inputs…)
Published February 5th, 2024 at 07:37 IST