From Atacama to Biobío, the extreme weather conditions have affected thousands of people this week. A frontal system hit the Metropolitan Region on Saturday, July 9, and it has extended to other regions from north to south. Even snow fell later last week.
Severe climate conditions have struck Chile during this second week of July. Alongside the unusual snow that woke up parts of the Metropolitan, O’Higgins, Maule, Ñuble, and Biobío Regions on Thursday, July 14; Atacama, Coquimbo and Valparaíso have been struggling with hard rains and low temperatures.
In several places, there have been warning alerts from the National Office of Emergency (ONEMI), because of the rainfall and the wind speed. Ricardo Toro, head of the entity, made a call to “be informed by the official channels, stay alert of the weather forecast, and avoid emergency situations.”
Due to these events, scattered damage has been reported: waterlogged houses, roadblocks, and neighborhoods isolated. And more than 39,000 homes and businesses have experienced power outages, with the Coquimbo Region being the most affected. Indeed, the zone was declared in “red alert” by the ONEMI because of the damage caused by the rain on the streets, which have hampered a number of communities.
An electric storm hit seven regions of the country, from Coquimbo to Biobío, on Friday night. On Saturday, the temperature hit minus 2, the Chilean Meteorological Office reports.
However, the storms ended in the Metropolitan and Valparaíso Regions, on Saturday. As for O’Higgins, Maule, Ñuble, and Biobío, there are high possibilities that the rain will continue until Monday, July 19, so the warning alerts from ONEMI are expected to continue through the weekend. You can check the live updates here.
Catalina Vergara is graduated in Social Communications from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. She has previously worked on Strategic Communications.