STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Death toll climbs to 11 in Chile forest fires

The fires have forced more than two thousand people into shelters, and have damaged or destroyed more than 4,000 dwellings.

Published: 29th January 2017 12:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th January 2017 12:27 AM   |  A+A-

chile-wildfire5

A couple walks through a neighborhood destroyed by fire in Santa Olga, Chile, Thursday. | AP

By AFP

SANTIAGO: Forest fires ravaging southern Chile have now killed 11 people, President Michelle Bachelet said Saturday, as firefighters waged an all-out battle to extinguish the raging infernos.

Bachelet told reporters that more than 9,000 firefighters and other responders have been enlisted to battle the fires, which have destroyed almost 1.2 million acres (480,000 hectares) in seven regions of the South American nation.

"We are fighting the fire without pause and without precedent," Bachelet declared.

More than 4,500 volunteer firefighters and members of the country's national forest brigades plus some 4,600 police officers and other public officials are battling the blaze. 

The fires have forced more than two thousand people into shelters, and have damaged or destroyed more than 4,000 dwellings.

Among the countries that have dispatched aid to help put out the infernos are Argentina, Spain, France, Portugal and Mexico.

A Russian aircraft with a 42-ton water-carrying capacity is due to arrive on Sunday, while Brazil and Peru were also expected to send firefighting aircraft.

According to the latest report by Chile's national forest service, Conaf, there are a total of 110 separate fires, 50 of which are under control, while 60 are still being fought.

Fires are common in Chile's parched forests during the southern hemisphere's summer. Most are caused by human activity. More than 35 people have been arrested and accused of playing a role in starting or propagation the fires.

Fire activity this year was worse than usual because of a drought attributed by environmentalists to climate change.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp