Chile President Laments 'Tragedy' As Wildfires Kill More Than 100

"Fires devastating parts of central Chile have killed at least 64 people and the country faces a "tragedy of very great magnitude," President Gabriel Boric said on Sunday, as he warned that the death toll likely will surge in coming days.

Wildfires that began several days ago are menacing the outer edges of Viña del Mar and Valparaíso, two coastal cities popular with tourists. The urban sprawl of those cities accounts for more than a million residents west of the capital Santiago.

Chilean authorities have introduced a 9 p.m. curfew in the hardest-hit areas and sent in the military to help firefighters stem the spread of fires, while helicopters dumped water to try to douse the flames from the air.

Boric, announcing two days of national mourning starting on Monday, said Chile should prepare itself for more bad news. The death toll rose from 51 on Saturday."

Diego Ore and Drazen Jorgic report for Reuters February 4, 2024.


"‘We’re Broken’: Wildfires on Chile’s Coast Kill 99 and Leave Hundreds Missing" (New York Times)

Source: Reuters, 02/05/2024