Chile – Heavy Rain Causes Deadly Landslide in Los Lagos Region

Heavy rain triggered a major landslide in Chile on 16 December leaving at least 5 dead, 18 missing and 12 injured.

The landslide occurred in the town of Villa Santa Lucia in Chaitén commune, Los Lagos Region.

Over 200 personnel from fire, police, military and civil defence are working in the area, searching for survivors as well as clearing debris, opening transport routes and ensuring the safety of residents. Over 350 people have been evacuated.

Aftermath of the deadly landslide in Villa Santa Lucia, Chile, December 2017
Credit: Carabineros de Chile

At least 20 houses were destroyed and around 20 houses and 1 school damaged, according to ONEMI (Oficina Nacional de Emergencia del Ministerio del Interior y Seguridad Pública), Chile’s emergency management department.

Undersecretary of the Interior, Mahmud Aleuy, said on 16 December that the landslide was caused by  heavy rain of 122 mm in 24 hours. ONEMI had declared a preventive early warning in the region due to weather events on 15 December.

The heavy rain also caused some flooding in the region. ONEMI report that over 30 people have been left isolated in the commune of Hualaihué after the La Máquina river broke its banks, destroying a bridge connecting the commune to the outside world.

Social Media