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Chile’s president urges unity in battle to contain deadly fire.weather news

deadly wildfire Burning continues in Chile as President Gabriel Boric calls for unity and determination after more than 1,000 homes and hundreds of thousands of hectares of land have been destroyed in the country’s central and southern regions. I’m here.

Officials said on Monday that conditions were conducive to the spread of at least the remaining fires that have consumed 270,000 hectares (667,184 acres). 24 dead So far this week persists.

Fires have been the deadliest in recent years for the South American country, and 2023 is already the second-worst year on record for hectares burned. Chile’s National Forestry Corporation reported 275 fires were still active as of Monday morning.

“United in the face of tragedy, united in rebuilding ourselves. It has always been and always will be the path in the face of adversity in Chile,” Boric said. wrote on twitter.

Chilean authorities said on Sunday that at least 1,182 people were injured in wildfires fueled by strong winds and temperatures above 104 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), and nearly 1,100 homes were also destroyed.

A swing is seen after wildfires erupted in Santa Juana, Chile, on February 5, 2023. [Juan Gonzalez/Reuters]

Maria Inez Hernandez, a 55-year-old social worker from Santa Juana, a town about 33 miles (53 km) south of Concepción in the badly-damaged Biobio region, said many of the houses in the area had been reduced to ashes, leaving residents devastated. said they felt uneasy. where are you going

“It’s a miracle that some houses survived,” Hernandez told AFP news agency. “Now we are afraid the fire will return… Where is the shelter? Where? How?”

International aid and personnel began arriving on Sunday from Spain, Argentina and Mexico, but more aid was expected from several countries in the region, including Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay, Venezuela and Peru.

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrado said late Sunday 180 experts trained in controlling wildfires have traveled to Chile to help Chile’s civil protection agency control the fires.

Meanwhile, the Portuguese government said on Monday it was ready to send 140 firefighters to help fight the wildfires, but was waiting for a response from Chile on its ability to accommodate the contingent.

Chilean officials said a so-called 10 tanker plane with a fire-fighting capacity of 36,000 liters is also due to arrive on Monday.

Chile for the weekend Declare a state of emergency To hasten relief for the mostly rural southern regions of Biobio, Nouvel and Araucania. The area has extensive forests and farms growing grapes and other fruits for export.

Chilean firefighters take a break from fighting wildfires
Firefighters resting in Santa Juana, Chile on February 5, 2023 [Juan Gonzalez/Reuters]

Sunday, from the city of Pren in Araucania, President Boric While emphasizing that his administration would provide all necessary resources, he sought to inspire solidarity in the face of deadly wildfires.

“It’s just that spirit that guides us through this difficult time,” he said. “Let’s all get out of here together.”

Some of the fire-torn areas are poor and isolated and plagued by violent conflict. Mapuche Indigenous People Governments, timber companies and private landowners on the one hand.

Miguel Angel Henriquez, a 58-year-old farmer from Santa Juana, said he and his wife pondered for too long whether they would escape the approaching flames and were lucky to be alive. “We waited until the end, but the fire cut off on all sides,” he told AFP.

They headed back in the direction they left and ran into firefighters, neighbors and the police. “When the fire was approaching, I said to them, ‘Either you get out of here now or you die here.'” We hid behind a fire truck,” Henriquez said. rice field.

He added that he saw neighbors brave the flames and try to save animals. “He didn’t come out. I yelled at him to come out of the fire, but he didn’t listen.”

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/2/6/chiles-president-urges-unity-amid-battle-to-contain-fatal-fires Chile’s president urges unity in battle to contain deadly fire.weather news

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