Disasters & Accidents

Wettest winter for 14 years soaks Chile capital

Santiago de Chile, Aug 24 (EFE).- The Chilean capital Santiago is experiencing its rainiest winter since the start of a mega drought 14 years ago, meteorologists said Thursday, after heavy rainfall in recent days.

According to the Meteorological Directorate of Chile (DMC), about 53.5 millimeters of water fell between Tuesday and Wednesday. So far this winter, more than 186 millimeters of water has accumulated.

“This August is the best of the last eight years in Santiago and the total winter – including June, July, and August – since the beginning of the megadrought,” said Gianfranco Marcone, meteorologist of the Chilean channel Tele13.

The rainfall in Santiago blocked roads and caused the suspension of classes in some municipalities and floods and overflows in areas near the Andes mountain range.

However, the damage was minimal compared to the situation in the central-southern zone.

“We have no risk of drinking water cut-off (…) we have sufficient backups to ensure the continuity of water supply,” said the Minister of Public Works, Jessica Lopez, about the Maipo and Mapocho rivers, water sources to Santiago.

According to the latest information, the storm has claimed the lives of at least four people, and there are more than 41,500 people cut off in different localities in the south, especially in the regions of Maule and Bíobio.

Chile has the most significant water crisis in the Western Hemisphere. About 80% of its territory has been affected by drought for a decade and a half. EFE


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