Heavy rains that have brought flooding to swathes of central Chile — killing four people and displacing thousands — moved north overnight and hit the capital Santiago.
(Bloomberg) — Heavy rains that have brought flooding to swathes of central Chile — killing four people and displacing thousands — moved north overnight and hit the capital Santiago.
The floods forced the government to declare a state of catastrophe in some areas, freeing up emergency relief. President Gabriel Boric pledged as much as 5 million pesos ($5,800) for farmers and is set to announce additional aid.
With the Andes mountains flanking much of Chile’s eastern border, the heavy rains have sent water pouring down into lower lying areas, breaking river banks, flooding crops and destroying infrastructure.
Authorities closed schools in 11 of the capital’s municipalities. Further south, parts of the towns of Constitucion, Licanten, Talca and Santa Cruz were flooded, while the forestry unit of Empresas Copec SA was forced to close two plants. Images posted on social media showed one of those plants inundated.
Local television on Wednesday showed swollen rivers from Santiago to Concepcion as the weather front moved north. The rains follow an unusually warm winter that has melted snows in the mountains earlier in the year than normal.
Large copper mines in the area have maintained operations, owners Anglo American Plc and Codelco said on Wednesday. Most of the top-producing nation’s copper comes from the northern desert.
–With assistance from Sebastian Boyd.
(Adds additonal aid and copper mining update)
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