January 18, 2021

Floods in northern Chile keep about 600 people isolated

About 600 people remain isolated in northern Chile due to flooding in rivers and floods caused by heavy rainfall and so far they have left at least one deceased, official sources said Wednesday.

The Atacama region is the most affected, with up to five of its communes under yellow alert, decreed by the National Emergency Office of the Ministry of Interior (Onemi), and it is expected that on this day there will be thunderstorms in the precordilleranos sectors and mountain range of that region.

Additionally, new rainfall of moderate intensity is expected in the high valleys, precordillera and cordillera sectors.

The National Geology and Mining Service (Sernageomin) considers the possibility of floods, landslides or rock falls to be “high.”

The rains began on the 27th and so far they have claimed the life of a person due to the increase in flow of the Huasco River, in the town of El TTransit (Atacama region), where 26 people remain sheltered and 9,040 homes have suffered damage.

The Onemi reported that three adults from this location who were unaccounted for were located.

In the commune of Tierra Amarilla, also in Atacama, 471 isolated people are staying overnight in a temporary shelter because the access bridge was exceeded by the increase in the flow of the Manflas River.

In the same way, approximately 100 people remain isolated in another sector of that commune due to the cut of a road.

Vehicular traffic is interrupted in several areas of the Atacama region and the quality of drinking water is evaluated, while water delivery is reinforced by tank trucks.

In the Tarapacá region, more than 3,000 homes have suffered minor damage, mainly due to leaks in roofs and waterlogging, and in some locations, drinking water is only available at 50%.

The problems of access to drinking water also occur in some locations in the Arica and Parinacota region, which are without supply.

This Tuesday, the president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, visited the affected areas and decreed a state of catastrophe, which allows to commit help to face this emergency.


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