Chile: Landslide destroys village and kills at least five

A landslide caused by torrential rain has killed at least five people in southern Chile and has destroyed dozens of houses.

Fifteen people are missing in the remote village of Villa Santa Lucía in the country’s lake region, popular with tourists.

President Michelle Bachelet has declared a state of emergency in the area.

Thousands remain without electricity and cut off from the rest of Chile.

“I have ordered rescue workers to put all the resources necessary towards protecting the people of Villa Santa Lucia,” said Ms Bachelet.

This handout photo released by Rescate Chaiten shows part of the town of Villa Santa Lucia near Chaiten in southern Chile that was devastated by a landslide that left five dead and 15 missing on December 16, 2017,Image copyrightAFP
Image captionMost of the village was destroyed by the landslide

Part of the valley where the village lies, some 1,100km (690 miles) south of the capital, Santiago, was engulfed by a huge amount of mud from surrounding mountains.

Local media reported that the region had experienced unusually heavy rain for the previous 24 hours.

Dozens of people have been airlifted and taken to the neighbouring town of Chaitén.

Rescue teams are searching for survivors.

The village is near Corcovado National Park, popular with tourists for its volcanoes, fjords and forests.

Damage done by a landslide is seen in Villa Santa Lucia, Los Lagos, Chile December 16, 2017 in this picture obtained from social mediaImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionThe mud has blocked roads linking the area to the rest of Chile

The mudslide happened on Saturday morning, on the eve of the run-off election to choose Chile’s next president.

The authorities say the vote is going ahead as planned.

Some 14 million Chileans are eligible choose between the centre-right candidate, Sebastián Piñera, and Alejandro Guillier, who is endorsed by Ms Bachelet.

 

Source: BBC

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