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Arrow Right VIDEOs-HUGE Fire Destroys Whole Area of Chile

Post-Apocalyptic Scenes Engulf Chile as Helicopters, Airplanes and Firefighters
Struggle to Contain Wildfires that have Killed 15, Devastated 2,000 Homes and left 8,000 Homeless


  • The fires erupted on Saturday in a hilltop residential area of Valparaiso, 70 miles northwest of capital Santiago
  • 20 helicopters and planes have been mobilized to drop water on hotspots, but officials say work is far from over
  • Schools were closed today in the city, since some were damaged and others were overflowing with evacuees
By Daily Mail UK, 15 April 2014


Helicopters, airplanes and firefighters have been struggling to contain wildfires that have killed 15 people, devastated more than 2,000 homes and left 8,000 homeless in Valparaiso, Chile.

A 15th body was found today and the toll of destroyed homes has risen to more than 2,150
As smoke rose from smoldering ruins all over the picturesque coastal city, many compared the scene to Dante's inferno.




Destroyed houses are seen after a fire burned several neighbourhoods in the hills in Valparaiso city, northwest of Santiago




Residents survey damage after a fire raged in the hills in Valparaiso city, northwest of Santiago. At least 15 people
were killed and 2,000 houses destroyed over the weekend by a fire that devastated parts of the Chilean port city of Valparaiso





Aerial view of the aftermath of a fire at Mariposas hill, Valparaiso, Chile. Fires they thought were
contained 24 hours after they started on Saturday kicked up again with Sunday afternoon's winds




Emergency responders struggled today with outbreaks from a deadly
blaze that tore through parts of an historic Chilean port city




Destroyed: A man reacts as he sees that his house was devastated by a huge fire in Valparaiso, Chile

Some people made their way home after days without sleep, only to discover ruins.
The fires, so hot they created their own fierce winds, consumed a few entire neighborhoods. In other districts, some houses stood unscathed but remained in danger from glowing embers carried by the shifting winds.

'We are looking at the largest air operation ever assembled against a fire like this,' Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said.
She said the blazes had grown to 'dimensions never before seen.'
Chile's forestry agency predicted it would take three weeks to completely stamp out the fires, which began Saturday in a forested ravine and quickly spread into ramshackle housing on one of Valparaiso's 42 hills.




A helicopter empties a bucket of water to fight a fire in Valparaiso
that has killed 15 people, injured 500 and destroyed 2,000 homes





Helicopters, airplanes and firefighters struggle to contain wildfires
that have devastated 2,000 homes and left 8,000 homeless




People comfort each other after a fire devastated an area of Valparaiso, Chile. Hot ash rained down over wooden houses and narrow streets.
Electricity failed as the fire grew, turning the night sky orange and reducing neighborhoods on six hilltops to ashes




Valparaiso is a picturesque oceanside city of 250,000 people
surrounded by hills that form a natural amphitheater




Residents are seen among the remains of houses after a fire burned
several neighbourhoods in the hills in Valparaiso city, northwest of Santiago





Chile's forestry agency predicted it would take three weeks to completely stamp out the fires,
which began Saturday in a forested ravine and quickly spread into ramshackle housing on one of Valparaiso's 42 hills





Emergency responders struggled on Monday with outbreaks from a
deadly blaze that tore through parts of an historic Chilean port city


Hot dry winds blowing out to sea whipped embers onto other neighborhoods on six densely populated hills where people live in poorly constructed homes without municipal water or sewer connections, fire hydrants or streets wide enough for emergency vehicles.
On Monday, there was no end in sight. Helicopters were flying without pause, dumping water on hotspots.
Aid was flowing in from all over Chile to Valparaiso, where evacuees crowded into eight shelters. Hundreds of young volunteers climbed hills carrying bottles of water and shovels to help victims search the ruins of their homes.
'We're going to rebuild right here. Where else would we go?' said Carolina Ovando, 22, who lost the humble home she kept with three small children.
Schools were closed, some of them damaged by fires and others jammed with evacuees.




Hotspot: Fires they thought were contained 24 hours after they started Saturday kicked up again with
Sunday afternoon's winds and raged out of control, threatening more neighborhoods



Exhausted: Firefighters take a break as they struggled for a second night to contain blazes
that have killed 15 people, injured 500, destroyed 2,000 homes and forced 10,000 people to flee




Dense housing: With no municipal water or fire hydrants to use, routes to the blazes blocked by narrow streets jammed with
abandoned vehicles and countless embers being stoked, fire crews could do little but watch some neighborhoods burn








Picturesque: Valparaiso is a picturesque oceanside city of 250,000 people
surrounded by hills that form a natural amphitheater





Powerless: From the sky, 20 helicopters and planes were mobilized to drop water on hotspots,
but firefighters were still forced to stand by and watch as neighbourhoods burned out of control






House on fire: ost of the people live in the hills, and the city owes its status as a UNESCO World Heritage
Site to their colorful homes, built on slopes so steep that many people commute using staircases and cable cars









Danger: What's beautiful in postcards can be dangerous for those who live there:
Many people have built on land not fit for housing, and entire communities lack municipal water connections


Navy officer Julio Leiva said Monday that the death toll rose to 15. Most of the bodies were too badly burned to identify without DNA tests, the national forensics service said. More than 500 people were treated at hospitals, mostly for smoke inhalation.
Bachelet coordinated the emergency response with her Cabinet, cancelling a trip to Argentina and Uruguay. She asked Chile's neighbors for backup in case of other fires, freeing Chilean planes and helicopters to join the fleet in Valparaiso.
Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman promised to collaborate with rescue teams and water-dumping planes. From the Vatican, Pope Francis sent a message sharing his prayers.




Tragedy: Three of the 15 victims were identified, and the others are so badly burned that DNA tests will be done






Fire emergency: Chile's emergency response system generated automatic phone
calls to each house in danger as the mandatory evacuations expanded





Blocked roads: Many people stuffed their cars with possessions after getting these calls,
and streets quickly became impassible






Stuck downhill: Water trucks and firefighters were stuck downhill as people abandoned their vehicles and ran.
Some carried television sets and others took canisters of natural gas, fearing an explosion if flames reached their homes






Heightened security: Some 1,250 firefighters, police and forest rangers battled the blaze
while 2,000 sailors in combat gear patrolled streets to maintain order and prevent looting



Bachelet put the entire city under military rule, and 5,000 firefighters, police, forest rangers, soldiers, sailors and civil defense workers joined the response. Cars were banned from streets leading up eight of the Valparaiso's hills so emergency vehicles could get through.
Valparaiso is an oceanside city of 250,000 people surrounded by hills that form a natural amphitheater.
The compact downtown includes Chile's congress and its second-largest port, and the city owes its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site to the colorful homes built on slopes so steep that many people commute using stairs and cable cars.
But what's beautiful on postcards can be dangerous for those who live there: Many people have built on land not fit for housing.
'We are too vulnerable as a city. We have been the builders and architects of our own danger,'Valparaiso Mayor Jorge Castro said Sunday in an interview with Chile's 24H channel.


Deadly Fire Destroys Homes In Chile's Valparaiso - One Of The Worst Fires in History- 13 April 2014



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