Massive forest fire in central Chile kills 46; toll likely to rise | World News - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Massive forest fire in central Chile kills 46; toll likely to rise

Reuters |
Feb 04, 2024 07:03 AM IST

Black smoke billowed into the sky over many parts of the Valparaiso region, home to nearly one million inhabitants in central Chile

Forest fires raging in central Chile have killed at least 46 people, President Gabriel Boric said on Saturday, warning that the death toll is likely to keep rising.

A view shows crashed vehicles following the spread of wildfires in Vina del Mar, Chile(REUTERS)
A view shows crashed vehicles following the spread of wildfires in Vina del Mar, Chile(REUTERS)

Black smoke billowed into the sky over many parts of the Valparaiso region, home to nearly one million inhabitants in central Chile, while firefighters using helicopters and trucks struggled to quell the flames.

HT launches Crick-it, a one stop destination to catch Cricket, anytime, anywhere. Explore now!

Areas around the coastal tourist city of Vina del Mar have been some of the hardest hit and rescue teams were struggling to reach all the affected areas, Chilean authorities said on Saturday.

President Boric, giving an update to the nation, said 40 people were killed in the fires and another six died from burns in hospitals.

"Given the conditions of the tragedy, the number of victims is sure to increase over the next few hours," Boric said.

"The situation is really very difficult."

The death toll means this is the deadliest outbreak of forest fires in Chile in the past decade, Chilean disaster agency Senapred said.

Throughout the country there were 92 active fires, leaving more than 43,000 hectares affected by the incident, Interior Minister Carolina Toha said earlier in the day when she reported 19 dead.

Wildfires are not uncommon in Chile over summer months and last year, on the back of a record heat wave, some 27 people died and more than 400,000 hectares were affected.

"The area with fires today is much smaller than last year (but) at this time the number of hectares affected is multiplying very rapidly," Interior Minister Carolina Toha said.

Between Friday and Saturday the hectares impacted by the wildfires increased from 30,000 to 43,000.

Toha said that the authorities' greatest concern was that some of the active fires were developing very close to urban areas "with the very high potential to affect people, homes and facilities".

Discover the complete story of India's general elections on our exclusive Elections Product! Access all the content absolutely free on the HT App. Download now!

Get Latest World News, Israel-Iran News Live along with Latest News from India at Hindustan Times.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Friday, April 19, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On