Last Update 20:17
Thursday, 14 November 2019

Thousands evacuated as fire burns 500 homes in Chile

AFP , Sunday 13 Apr 2014
Views: 912
Views: 912

An uncontrollable wildfire in the Chilean port city of Valparaiso destroyed 500 homes and forced the evacuation of 3,000 people as the conflagration burned into the night.

Huge tongues of fire engulfing one home after another led President Michelle Bachelet to declare the zone a disaster area late Saturday.

Thousands of people, meanwhile, watched from distant vantage points as the hills burned bright red.

A dense column of smoke advanced towards Valparaiso's port, one of Chile's largest.

The city of 270,000, whose historic quarter was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2004, draws thousands of foreign and local visitors each year.

The fire, whose cause is still under investigation, led to the suspension of drinking water and power outages in several neighborhoods.

The fire passed through 12 neighborhoods, destroying 500 homes, Mayor Jorge Castro said, telling state TV channel TVN that 3,000 people had been evacuated.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Rodrigo Penailillo said Bachelet had signed a decree authorising the army to help evacuate "the thousands and thousands of people who at this moment are being evacuated from their homes."

Penailillo said one person had been seriously injured by the fire, but that for the moment there were no known deaths.

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.