Valparaíso fire displaces thousands, kills at least a dozen
Monday, April 14, 2014
The fire, which began on Saturday in woods on one of Valparaíso's hills, has razed at least five hundred houses. 1,200 fire personnel are tackling the blaze, whilst members of the Chilean Navy have been deployed to discourage looting. Many residences of the affected area have no water supply, and are joined by narrow winding streets; yesterday firefighters dropped water on the flames from seventeen aircraft.
Chilean president Michelle Bachelet declared an emergency, with the army coordinating the evacuation. She called the blaze a "tremendous tragedy", noting, "In some places the fires have started again so we're working on this and people will continue to be protected".
One resident told thenews agency, "[w]e fled from the La Cruz neighborhood, from an apartment I just got not too long ago. It’s all burned down, my sister’s house also burnt to the ground".
Shelters have been erected to house the thousands fleeing the inferno, and hospitals have been treating hundreds for smoke inhalation. Much of the city is without power.
- "Deadly fire rips through parts of Chile’s Valparaiso" — , April 14, 2014
- "Chile fire in Valparaiso kills 12 and forces thousands to evacuate" — , April 13, 2014