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Deadly Wildfire Rips Through Chilean Port City

This is the second emergency the nation has had to deal with in a month — an 8.2 earthquake hit the northern coast on April 1.

by Leezel Tanglao
Apr 13 2014, 6:40pm

Photo by Reuters

A large wildfire killed at least 11 people and destroyed 500 homes in the port city of Valparaiso, Chile, overnight.

On Saturday, the blaze spread quickly due to strong winds.

It prompted the evacuation of thousands of residents, particularly in the neighborhoods of La Cruz and Las Canas, authorities said.

A red alert was declared in Valparaíso on April 12 as a large forest fire burned out of control.

On Sunday, residents returned to their homes as firefighters continued to work on the remaining hot spots.

"It is still not completely extinguished," regional official Ricardo Bravo told Reuters.

Valparaiso has a population of about 250,000. In 2003, the city's historic quarter was declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Chile President Michelle Bachelet declared a state of emergency — her second one this month.

On April 1, Chile officials have had to deal with the aftermath of a 8.2 earthquake that hit off the nation’s northern coast.

A 8.2 magnitude earthquake triggered tsunami warnings for communities along the coast of Chile on April 1.

A massive 7.8 magnitude aftershock struck Chile late on Wednesday, April 2, following a huge 8.2 earthquake just 24 hours before, which killed six people.