Intense rains and snowstorms hit central and southern Chile

Intense rains and snowstorms hit central and southern Chile

Intense rains and snowstorms affecting central and southern Chile since June 15, 2017 have left at least 4 people dead, 3 000 homeless, more than 45 000 customers without power and nearly 10 000 without drinking water.

Most of those displaced live in the southern region of Biobio, where rivers overflowed and 34 000 lost power. A number of residents in the city of Curanilahue have lost their homes, cars and businesses to flooding.

According to Chile's emergency service Onemi, the storms left 4 people dead, 3 076 affected, 46 108 customers without power and 7 916 without drinking water.

In Coquimbo, a landslide caused by heavy rain destroyed one home, injuring two people. 1 802 people lost power.

In Valparaiso, 15 people were affected and 3 houses sustained major damage. In Juan Fernandez, 4 houses suffered heavy roof damage. 1 101 people in the region lost power.

In Santiago Metropolitan Region, 1 person died, 21 were affected and 4 houses suffered major damage. Onemi added that municipal staff is still evaluating the number of people and homes affected by the storm. 5 400 customers were left without power.

In O'Higgins region, 82 people are reported affected, 3 houses were destroyed and 22 sustained major damage. 3 202 customers lost power. In addition, 4 055 customers are still without drinking water as a result of power supply problems.

In Maule region, two people died in Constitución and Empedrado and two houses sustained major damage in the region. In terms of power supply, there are 18 407 customers affected. Vehicular traffic on route CH-115, which was interrupted by a landslide, was restored in the city of San Clemente.

In Biobio region, there are 2 952 people affected, 4 houses destroyed and 737 with major damage. 9 915 customers are without power. Authorities reported flooding, downed trees, roof shedding, power outages in public lighting and interruptions in road traffic in various sectors of the region. Routes P-424, P-560 and P-344 are already operating normally, while P-468, P-150-R, P-318 and P-520 are still closed for traffic. Residents are asked to use alternative routes.

In the region of Araucania, 1 person lost its life and 4 are injured. One house sustained major damage. 5 307 customers are without power and nearly 1 000 without drinking water. Authorities reported the collapse of a bridge between Villa el Carmen and Villa Israel.

The storm also affected the regions of Los Rios and Lagos, where 974 people lost power and one house sustained major damage.

The storm comes just over a weeks after heavy rains and snow lashed the high altitude desert region of Antofagasta, affecting the world's biggest copper mine - BHP Billiton's Escondida. The storm prompted Onemi to trigger its highest 'red alert' warning.

Featured image: Floods in Chile, June 2017. Credit: Euronews

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