'Like being in hell': Chile mourns as wildfire death toll hits 112

'Like being in hell': Chile mourns as wildfire death toll hits 112

| Monday 05 February 2024

Chile began an official two-day mourning period on Monday for the 112 so far killed in the South American country's deadliest wildfires in recent history, while authorities continued to battle blazes fanned by high temperatures and strong winds.

Fires that broke out in central Chile late last week gathered momentum throughout the weekend, ravaging the coastal cities of Vina del Mar and Valparaiso. Hundreds of people remain missing and some 14,000 homes have been damaged.

On Sunday night, Deputy Interior Minister Manuel Monsalve said there were still 165 active fires, up from 154 on Saturday. A curfew has been imposed in the hardest-hit regions and the military has been sent in to help firefighters stop the spread.

Monsalve said slightly lower temperatures and cloud cover could help authorities put out the fires in upcoming days.

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