Days of heavy rain caused rivers in Chile to overflow their banks and cause flooding that blocked roads and forced evacuations in the capital Santiago.
Local authorities say the heavy rain for days is the worst weather that occurred in the last decade.
On Friday (23/6), residents of Santiago were shocked by the large volume of water flowing in the Mapocho river, the city’s main waterway, which increased rapidly accompanied by heavy rainfall.
Flooding around the Mapocho river has also cut off its route to the Pacific Ocean, crushed homes along its banks, and isolated small towns.
This caused the authorities to declare a “red alert” and order a preventive evacuation in various cities south of Santiago.
“This is the worst weather we’ve had in ten years,” said Santiago governor Claudio Orego. This is caused by a stretch, a barrier between two air masses, which can cause changes in the weather in the form of rain, thunderstorms, and tornadoes.
Franco Rodriguez, a resident of the small town of Noviciado, said he was awakened at night by neighbors telling him and his family to leave their house.
“Around 03.00 or 03.30, the river embankment broke and we had to save ourselves,” he said.
The flooding of the Mapocho river also impacted parts of the busy route that connects Santiago with the main port city of Valparaiso.
In the mountainous tourist area around the Maipo river, authorities since Thursday (22/6) have evacuated residents from their town due to the threatening risk of landslides and flooding.
Maipo and Mapocho are the main rivers that drain into Santiago. City authorities have asked residents to collect drinking water as supplies could be jeopardized by water changes that mix with silt and other contaminants.
The government expects rain to continue at least into Saturday morning.
Climate change is driving more extreme weather. The rains in Chile come just months after a period of wildfires amid a severe drought that destroyed hundreds of homes and left dozens of people dead.
Source : Antara