Runaway forest fires ravaged the coastal hills of central Chile, taking scores of lives, with hundreds of people reported as missing. Thousands of homes were destroyed, especially in the hilly neighborhoods around the resort town of Viña del Mar, where many older residents were not able to escape. The fires exploded on Friday amid unusually warm weather and strong winds.
“We’re standing before a tragedy of immense proportions,” President Gabriel Boric said on Sunday, as survivors sought to comprehend their losses. He announced that the nation would observe two days of mourning.
The scene in Quilpué, a smaller, neighboring city of Viña del Mar.
Uberlinda Silva, 72, in her burned house in El Olivar.
Burned cars in El Olivar, which is in the Valparaiso region.
A man tried to douse a fire in Quilpe, in the Valparaiso region.
The body of a fire victim in Viña del Mar.
The fires erupted as many were on summer vacations in Viña del Mar,
A helicopter fighting the forest fires in the hills of Quilpe.
Rescuing animals in the hills of Quilpe.
Residents viewing burned vehicles in Viña del Mar.
The view from Viña del Mar the day the fires began.
Cars and homes aflame in Viña del Mar.
Residents evacuating their homes in Viña del Mar.
Residents of Valparaiso viewing the fires as they swept through nearby Viña del Mar.