Chilean authorities have declared a state of catastrophe as wildfires rage through hundreds of square kilometers in the central parts of the western Latin American country.
The announcement was made on Saturday after forest fires set more than 450 square kilometers ablaze in the central O’Higgins region, an area roughly the size of the Austrian capital, Vienna.
The Chilean government’s national emergencies office, known as ONEMI, said some 200 people had been evacuated from the mostly rural areas south of the capital, Santiago, and that some 30 homes had been affected in the central provinces of Cardenal Caro and Colchagua.
Described as the worst in decades, the vast forest fires have however left no human casualties.
Chile’s Agriculture Ministry also decreed a farming emergency. Michelle Bachelet, the Chilean president, made an appeal to other countries for help before the huge blaze encroached on other areas.