Chile Fires

Chile Moves to Control Forest Fires

Chile Moves to Control Forest Fires

President of the Republic, Gabriel Boric Font: “We are deploying all human, technical, and budgetary resources to address this emergency.”

Wildfires: Death toll rises to 99 people in the Valparaíso region. The Legal Medical Service detailed that out of the fatalities, 32 have been identified.

This Sunday, the Legal Medical Service updated the number of fatalities resulting from the emergency caused by wildfires in Valparaíso and reported that there are currently 99 deaths in the region.

In a statement, it mentioned the Legal Medical Service has processed a total of 99 people; 32 of them identified. In addition, 25 autopsies have been conducted, reports Emol.

 

 

President of the Republic, Gabriel Boric Font, meets with families affected by the fires: “The Government, the State, and the solidarity of the Chilean people are with you.” Image Credit: Gobierno de Chile.

 

Viña del Mar Municipality

It estimates that there are more than 370 people missing. Mayor Macarena Ripamonti also emphasized that “the emergency is far from over, it has not diminished. We are in the first stage of preparing for the emergency.”

With more than two days passed since the emergency began affecting the Valparaíso region, the situation still appears far from being fully under control, and the devastating effects are becoming more detailed.

Macarena Ripamonti, the mayor of Viña del Mar, one of the most affected communes, provided an update on the situation on Saturday night, reporting that the number of people considered missing has been increasing.

 

 

President of the Republic, Gabriel Boric Font, meets with families affected by the fires: “The Government, the State, and the solidarity of the Chilean people are with you.” Image Credit: Gobierno de Chile.

 

The mayor of Viña also warned about the situation in shelters in the commune, many of which are overwhelmed.

“The shelters at República de Colombia, Humberto Vilches, and Guillermo Rivera are completely full. No one else can fit. There are about 1,500 people in shelter situations, only in Viña del Mar,” she stated.

Additionally, “we have designated José Francisco Vergara and Liceo Bicentenario as new shelters. And República del Ecuador, on Arlegui Street, only as a collection and donation reception point.

And, for the animals, they have been moved from Guillermo Rivera to the Bernardo O’Higgins school near Par Viana-Álvarez.”

Ripamonti concluded by saying, “there are many people deceased. Many people have lost everything, and it’s dramatic. At this moment, there are no political colors, no personal agendas; there simply needs to be genuine care for this to turn out well from all sides and be available to work for this emergency. I ask you, please, there is a lot of pain in Viña del Mar right now.”

Government Actions

From La Moneda Palace, the President reiterated the actions that the Government is taking to control forest fires and support the affected families.

 

 

President of the Republic, Gabriel Boric Font, meets with families affected by the fires: “The Government, the State, and the solidarity of the Chilean people are with you.” Image Credit: Gobierno de Chile.

 

The President of the Republic, Gabriel Boric Font, delivered a statement from La Moneda Palace to reiterate the actions the Government is taking to collectively address the emergency affecting the central region of the country.

 

 

 

In his statement, the Head of State detailed that he has ordered the deployment of additional military units in the affected areas to ensure public order and the safety of people, among other measures.

“I know these are very difficult, very tough moments. Losing a home built with so many years of effort is devastating. Losing a family member, a loved one, is an impossible pain to fathom. But be assured that our Government is deployed with all human, technical, and budgetary resources to face this emergency,” he said.

 

 

Excerpt of the President’s statement:

“Good afternoon.

To begin, I would like to deeply regret the deaths that have occurred in the context of the forest fires in the Valparaíso Region.”

 

 

 

“We stand with the families, friends, and loved ones in this extremely painful moment. I also send a strong hug to those who lost their homes yesterday and today, and I deeply appreciate those who are giving their best to fight this tragedy, especially firefighters, Conaf brigades, Carabineros, Armed Forces personnel, health workers, municipal workers, and public servants. Also, of course, to civil society that always rises in the face of such tragedies.”

 

 

 

“From the very beginning, yesterday, I instructed to declare a State of Catastrophe to be able to have all the necessary resources to combat this emergency and help the families.

In light of this decision, I have also instructed the Ministry of Defense to deploy more military units in the affected areas, which need to be deployed already and are in the process of being deployed.”

 

 

 

“I know that in these critical moments there is much pain, anguish, and anxiety, but it is necessary, compatriots, to face this catastrophe in an orderly and coordinated manner, and that everyone, without exception, follows the instructions of the relevant authorities.

Many times, with goodwill, one tries to help, perhaps in a desperate way, but if that help is not organized and coordinated with the relevant authorities, it can become an obstacle that hinders what needs to be done at this moment, which is primarily to save lives and extinguish the fires.”

 

 

 

 

“As the Deputy Minister of the Interior, Manuel Monsalve, mentioned, I have ordered the reinstatement of a curfew in 4 communes of the Valparaíso Region: Quilpué, Villa Alemana, Limache, and Viña del Mar, from 9:00 PM today until 10:00 AM this Sunday.

It is essential to guarantee public order and the safety of our compatriots. And in this, have no doubt that we will use all constitutional tools available to ensure security and tranquility in this very difficult moment that the inhabitants of the region are facing.

The curfew will help clear the routes for emergency vehicles to arrive, but also for people who need to evacuate to do so as soon as possible and to prevent anyone from lingering in areas where the decision to evacuate has been made.”

 

 

“In this, Chileans, I want to be very emphatic; our priority today is to save lives. For this, we need to have the entire public and private healthcare network available, and Minister of Health, Ximena Aguilera, is working towards this to attend to all those who have been injured or burned.

Also, within the priorities of saving lives, is extinguishing the fires that are active at the moment. In the Valparaíso Region, we have 4 large active fires: in Viña del Mar, in the Las Tablas sector, which started in Peñuelas, in Quilpué-Villa Alemana, in Quillota, and in the Curauma sector. And, of course, safeguarding homes so that this does not continue to escalate.

For this, we need everyone. That is why I want to strongly reiterate the call that, when instructed to evacuate areas due to forest fires, do not hesitate.

The fire advances very quickly, and the climatic conditions we have had, both yesterday and today, have made firefighting much more complicated: High temperatures, strong winds, averaging 30 km per hour with gusts of up to 60 km, and also low humidity.”

 

 

“Therefore, if you receive the message to evacuate and see or believe that the fire is very far away, do not hesitate. If you received the message, it is because you have to do it.

We want to save lives and protect you. All decisions are being made informed by experts and professionals in the field, with the deployment of all the forces of the State.

I ask the entire population to follow the instructions of the authorities. We need to clear the streets so that Conaf brigades, firefighters, police, and all those necessary can enter to fight these fires. Also, for families to evacuate, the streets need to be clear.”

 

 

“Today we are in the stage of controlling the different forest fire outbreaks, saving lives, and quickly supporting the affected. We were flying over the region, and the situation is really very difficult. Therefore, I ask you to think about those who are fighting the fires.

As a government, I want you to know that we are coordinated through the different ministries, and aid is being delivered to the essential needs of those in shelters in the Valparaíso Region.

I want to highlight the tremendous work that municipalities are doing, many with limited resources, coordinating with the private sector, reaching where it hurts the most today.

I have instructed the State, through JUNAEB, the General Directorate of Waters, and the Ministry of Education, to be on the ground helping. Minister Cataldo will be deployed to the area tomorrow to assess the situation of all shelters.

I have also instructed Minister Fernandez, the Minister of National Defense, to constitute herself as the government liaison in the area promptly from tomorrow. Additionally, there are Subsecretary Monsalve and Subsecretary Montero there, as you know.

And all the coordinations are being carried out at the regional Cogrid level, where the delegate is playing a very important role, and at the national Cogrid level, which will be led at this moment by Minister Carolina Tohá.”

 

 

 

“From now on, I have mandated the ministries to expedite the work that allows for early assistance in the shortest possible time. But for this, I repeat, it is necessary first to control the active outbreaks.

Also, from now on, the potential intentionality of these fires is being investigated. And although it is hard to imagine who could be willing to cause so much tragedy and pain, know that it will be investigated to the last consequences and with all necessary resources.

Faced with these suspicions, I have asked the Armed Forces and Carabineros to intensify and increase surveillance, especially in the surrounding areas.

I know these are very difficult and tough moments. Losing the home that was built with so many years of effort is devastating, losing a family member or a loved one is an impossible tear to fathom.

But be certain that our Government is deployed with all human, technical, and budgetary resources. Minister Marcel will give a press briefing tomorrow explaining the details of all the resources available, and there is no doubt that there will be no shortage to face this emergency.”

 

 

“Chileans, we will overcome this, as we have always done in these difficult situations. The State, as a whole, with all its forces, is at your service.

Tomorrow, we will be on the ground with the victims and authorities to continue making quick decisions, facing this emergency, once again, overcoming it as we know how to do.

Thank you very much.” President Gabriel Boric.

 

President of the Republic, Gabriel Boric Font, meets with families affected by the fires: “The Government, the State, and the solidarity of the Chilean people are with you.” Image Credit: Gobierno de Chile.

 

The President visited a shelter and affected areas in the commune of Quilpué this Sunday. Boric Font met with families affected by the fires in Quilpué.

From the shelter located at the Fernando Durán Villarroel School, the President stated, “The priority is to save lives because there are still active fires, attend to the injured, and control the active fires being fought as soon as possible.”

In the company of the Minister of Education, Nicolás Cataldo; the Governor of the Valparaíso Region, Rodrigo Mundaca; the Regional Presidential Delegate of Valparaíso, Sofía González; and the Mayor of Quilpué, Valeria Melipillán, the Head of State detailed that each of the established shelters will be reviewed to ensure that the affected families have everything they need.

The President also instructed to expedite the investigation of the origin of the fires, reinforce the Legal Medical Service, enable the Cerro Castillo Presidential Palace with activities to support children and adolescents who have suffered losses after the fires, and deploy teams responsible for debris removal once the active fires are extinguished.

 

 

President of the Republic, Gabriel Boric Font, meets with families affected by the fires: “The Government, the State, and the solidarity of the Chilean people are with you.” Image Credit: Gobierno de Chile.

 

President declares national mourning

The President announced that he has declared two days of national mourning starting from this Monday, February 5, “because it is the entire Chile that suffers and mourns its dead.”

“This is the greatest tragedy we have experienced as a country since the earthquake on February 27, 2010,” said the President. He added, “From the Valparaíso region, I send a supportive hug and my deepest condolences to each of the victims who has lost a loved one and also to those who have lost their homes, their memories, and their belongings. Know that you will not be alone, that the Government, the State, and the solidarity of Chileans, which always shows up in these difficult times, will be with you.”

Four communes in the Valparaíso region will maintain a curfew this Sunday, in response to the emergency caused by the forest fires affecting the area, which have led to the death of 64 people so far.

The Defense Headquarters for the provinces of Marga Marga and Valparaíso reported that the measure will apply to the communes of Limache, Quilpué, Villa Alemana, and Viña del Mar. The curfew will begin at 6:00 PM this Sunday and will last until 10:00 AM on Monday, February 5th.

 


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