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Forest fire destroys 100 houses in Chile’s Valparaiso port

Valparaiso, Apr 13 (): A large out-of-control forest fire has destroyed at least 150 homes and has forced evacuations of thousands of people in the city of Valparaiso, Chile, on Sunday April 13, 2014.

Authorities said the fire was pushed by the strong Pacific coast winds. People received minor injuries due to this uncontrollable fire but no deaths were reported. Further, exports from the world’s top copper producer also remained unaffected.

President Michelle Bachelet has announced the port city as a disaster region. The Armed Forces are in charge of keeping order and vacating thousands of people affected by the flames and smoke.

The Las Canas and La Cruz neighbourhoods were the places most affected by the fire. The ambulance rescuers treated the inhabitants for inhaling the smoke as the fire consumed block after block.

Guillermo de la Mazza, the emergency official told reporters that the weather is making the situation more complicated. The wind is blowing heavily and is not in favour of them, he told. At this instance, evacuating the residents is the top priority, along with regulating the fire itself.

Jorge Castro. Mayor of Valparaiso, told the National Television of Chile that there has been no serious injuries or deaths so far. But, some people in the area are being choked by the smoke. He said shelters have been set up for those who were compelled to escape from the fire.

On Saturday night Castro said that the port city, Valparaiso has no electricity at the moment and it means the fire is creating a Dante-esque view and is proceeding in a clearly uncontrollable manner.

The National Office of Emergency also declared a red alert for the La Polvora area, where nearly 150 hectares of eucalyptus, grassland and bushes have been burned due to forest fire.