Dozens of families were left isolated after flash floods cut roads in El Loa Province in the region of Antofagasta, northern Chile, on 04 February 2023.
The local government reported heavy rain and flooding in several parts of the province. Around 50 families were left isolated in the town of Lasana after damaging floods washed away parts of the road network. Areas of the city of Calama were also affected and the important road connecting Calama to San Pedro de Atacama was blocked.
Videos shared on Social Media showed homes and streets inundated and water cascading down mountainsides.
Chile President Gabriel Boric said emergency plans and teams to deal with adversities have been activated. Further rain was expected.
The provincial government said it has deplored teams with equipment and machinery to restore the roads affected by the rains in Lasana. As of 05 February.
March 2015 Floods
The Antofagasta Region was the scene of catastrophic flooding in March 2015, when several towns of the Atacama and Coquimbo regions were also affected. As of 06 April 2015, the government of Chile reported 26 people killed and over 150 missing. In total 29,741 people were affected and 2,514 were displaced. Around 2,071 homes were destroyed and a further 6,254 homes damaged
Biobio, Nuble and Araucania Wildfires
Meanwhile, firefighters are battling dozens of wildfires in the regions of Biobio, Nuble and Araucania in what has been described as one of Chile’s worst natural disasters in years. The fires have consumed around 270,000 hectares. As of 05 February, as many as 24 people had last their lives and nearly 1,000 were injured. President Gabriel Boric issued emergency declarations for affected areas to help speed relief efforts.
Acabo de hablar con delegada presidencial de Antofagasta @Kbehrensn para monitorear lluvias en provincia del Loa que han generado corte de caminos, en particular en el poblado de Lasana. Están activados planes de emergencia y equipos para hacer frente a adversidades. Seguimos!
— Gabriel Boric Font (@GabrielBoric) February 5, 2023
— Felipe Lerzundi Rivas (@flerzund) February 5, 2023
— Rafael.Anriquez (@RafaelAnriquez) February 4, 2023