- 4 updates
At least 12 people have been killed and 2,000 homes destroyed by a wild fire that devastated parts of the Chilean port city of Valparasio over the weekend.
Pushed by strong Pacific coast winds, the fire started on Saturday and rampaged over 700 hectares (1,700 acres) of forest and hilly residential neighborhoods including La Cruz and Las Canas, authorities said.
The Chilean Congress, which is housed in Valparaiso, was spared by the blaze, as was the city's historic quarter with its late 19th century architecture.
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has declared a state of emergency and sent the army in to maintain order after a wildfire destroyed 500 houses in the Chilean port city of Valparaiso.
Residents of the this morning awoke to stench-filled scene of smoke, ash and sirens. Marines have been patrolling the streets while ambulance crews treat people for smoke inhalation and other injuries.
While the blaze inflicting most of the damage overnight, firefighters today continued to try to douse active points of the blaze.
"It is still not completely extinguished," Ricardo Bravo, a local government official said.
At least 11 people have been killed by a wildfire that ripped through residential areas of port city Valparaiso in Chile.
Around 1,200 firefighters have battled the blaze which has burnt through 1,729 acres of forest and homes, using three planes and four helicopters to drop water on the flames.
A huge forest fire raging near the Chilean port of Valparaiso has killed at least two people and destroyed 500 homes, officials have said.
Thousands of people have been evacuated, including more than 200 female inmates at a prison.
Firefighters were having difficulty combating the blaze because of the topography of the city, which is surrounded by dozens of steep hills where most people live.