Chile forest fires kill at least 51 in densely populated areas

Intense forest fires burning around a densely populated area of central Chile have caused at least 51 deaths, local authorities confirmed Saturday evening, adding that at least 1,100 homes had been destroyed.

President Gabriel Boric declared a state of emergency and said he would make “all necessary resources” available to tackle the situation.

The deadliest of the fires were in the Valparaiso region, where authorities urged thousands of people to evacuate their homes.

It is believed to be Chile’s deadliest forest fire on record. Many of those affected were visiting the coastal region during the summer holidays.

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