Chile extends state of emergency as devastating forest fires kill 24 people

HY News 06 February, 2023 10:13 am IST

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At least 24 people were killed in devastating forest fires which occurred following a blistering heat wave in the central part of the country.

Firefighters battled dozens of raging wildfires in Chile on Sunday, seeking to gain control of one of the country's worst natural disasters in years as the death toll rose to at least 24 with nearly 1,000 more injured.

A senior official said, the state of emergency has been extended in the South American country. The orders allow for the deployment of soldiers and additional resources to deal with the natural disaster. According to an official briefing on Saturday at least 979 people have been affected following the calamity.

International help began arriving on Sunday from a handful of countries that have pledged resources, including planes and expert firefighting teams, as the most intense wildfires torched forests and farmland clustered around three regions near the middle of the South American country's long Pacific coastline.

President Gabriel Boric issued emergency declarations for the largely rural southern regions of Biobio, Nuble and Araucania in an effort to speed relief. On Sunday, speaking from the city of Puren in Araucania, Boric stressed that his government would provide all necessary resources, while he also sought to inspire solidarity in the face of the deadly wildfires.

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