Forest Fires in Chile Claim at Least 46 Lives

Severe forest fires in Chile have resulted in the tragic deaths of at least 46 people, with fears that the toll may rise further.

At least 46 dead in forest fires in Chile At least 46 people have died in the recent severe forest fires in Chile, according to authorities in the South American country. It is feared that the death toll will continue to rise.

The number of fatalities in the severe forest fires in Chile has risen to at least 46, announced President Gabriel Boric on Saturday evening. Forty people died directly in the fires, while six others died later in the hospital due to their severe injuries. Approximately people are still missing. Given the circumstances, Boric expects the number of fatalities to increase further.

Authorities reported 143 fires across the country on Saturday, covering an area of about 21,000 hectares. According to media reports, nearly 1,000 houses were damaged. On Friday, the president had declared a state of emergency in the affected areas to mobilize all necessary resources. He has now instructed the Ministry of Defense to deploy more military units. “Our priority is to save lives,” said Boric.

El Niño likely cause of heatwave

Several regions in Chile are currently affected by a heatwave. According to the Chilean climate authority, temperatures of up to 37 degrees Celsius were expected over the weekend. Scientists attribute the heat in large part to the cyclical weather phenomenon El Niño, which warms the Pacific Ocean. In the summer in the Southern Hemisphere, Chile often experiences severe forest fires. However, there is suspicion that at least some of the fires were intentionally set.