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Chile declares disaster zone after storm leaves 1 dead, 4,300 homeless

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-06-14 09:19
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A drone view shows a flooded area affected by heavy rains in south-central Chile, in Ramadillas, Chile, June 13, 2024. [Photo/Agencies]

SANTIAGO - Chile on Thursday declared a swath of the country, including the capital, a disaster zone after a storm left one person dead and displaced some 4,300.

The zone ranges from the region of Coquimbo, located to the north of Santiago, to Nuble in the south-central part of the country.

"We are experiencing the initial hours of this frontal system that is impacting the country's central zone," Carolina Toha, Chile's minister of the interior and public security, told local media, adding that the declaration of a disaster zone will help speed up aid to those affected by the extreme weather event.

The fatality occurred in the town of Linares, about 300 km south of the capital, where a person was crushed by a power line on Wednesday afternoon amid torrential rains.

About 2,300 homes have been damaged by the rains and floods. The town of Curanilahue, some 600 km south of Santiago in the Biobio region, was almost entirely inundated after surrounding rivers burst their banks.

Manuel Monsalve, undersecretary of the interior ministry, said that while forecasts anticipated more rain, "the worst is already over."

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