Chile declares state of emergency as forest fires continue to rage | Climate Crisis Update

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Roughly a dozen lives have been lost in a destructive blaze in the popular tourist region of Valparaiso, leading to the evacuation of many residents. The President of Chile, Gabriel Boric, has declared a state of emergency in response to the spreading forest fires that have devastated the country’s central region. The fires have incinerated thousands of hectares of forest and prompted people to flee their homes in areas like Vina del Mar and Valparaiso. Scientists attribute the severity of the fires to a summer heatwave and drought created by the El Nino weather phenomenon. In the affected towns, such as Estrella and Navidad, residents have been forced to evacuate, and numerous homes have been destroyed. Trapped motorists have filmed the terrifying scenes from the road, including mountains engulfed in flames. The fires have led to the closure of Route 68, a vital road connecting Valparaiso to the capital city, Santiago. Meanwhile, the relentless heatwave is expected to spread to other South American countries in the near future.

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