Chile – 6 Dead, Hundreds of Homes Destroyed After Floods in North

At least 6 fatalities have been reported as a result of severe weather in northern Chile since late January, 2019, first in Arica y Parinacota and later Tarapacá, and Antofagasta Regions.

Flooded road in Tamarugal Province, Tarapaca Region Chile February 2019. Photos: Carabineros de Chile

According to ONEMI figures, as of 15 February, 346 homes had been destroyed and 427 homes severely damaged. Over one thousand people have been displaced, with 340 staying in relief shelters.

One fatality was reported in Arica y Parinacota after flooding in late January and early February. The worst affected areas are the communes of Arica, Camarones and Putre. As of 16 February, several roads were still fully or partially closed. Drinking water supply has also been disrupted in several locations.

The worst hit areas of Tarapacá Region are Iquique Province, where 5,024 homes were damaged (4,944 in Alto Hospicio and 80 in Iquique municipalities) and Tamarugal Province, where 2 fatalities were reported in Camiña and Pozo Almonte. Over 20 roads are fully or partially closed in the province, leading 17 communities isolated.

Heavy rainfall from 06 February caused flooding and rivers to overflow in Antofagasta Region. Three fatalities were reported in El Loa Province after the Loa River broke its banks in Calama, damaging around 220 houses. Flooding in San Pedro de Atacama left people 334 injured and 244 homes destroyed after the Vilama and San Pedro rivers overflowed.

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