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11 lives claimed after fire rips through Chilean port city

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 wildfire burning in Valparaiso city. Credit: REUTERS/Cesar Pincheira
Smoke from a wildfire over Valparaiso city. Credit: REUTERS/Cesar Pincheira
People look at smoke from a forest fire in Valparaiso city, northwest of Santiago. Credit: REUTERS/Cesar Pincheira

Two killed in Chile forest fire

A forest fire burns in Valparaiso city, northwest of Santiago, April 12, 2014. Credit: Reuters\Cesar Pincheira

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.

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Residents assess damage following Chile aftershock

Residents on Chile's northern coast spent a second sleepless night outside their homes after a major aftershock rattled an area hit a day earlier by a magnitude-8.2 earthquake that caused six deaths.

State television said the aftershock caused some landslides near Alto Hospicio, a poor area in the hills above Iquique where about 2,500 homes were damaged by the first earthquake.

Fishermen try to salvage their boats in the aftermath of an earthquake and tsunami Credit: Reuters
A view of a damaged road to Alto Hospicio commune in Chile after an earthquake Credit: Reuters
A resident looks at debris around a home after an earthquake Credit: Reuters

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Chile feels nearly 30 earthquakes in 24 hours

Chile feels nearly 30 earthquakes in 24 hours Credit: USGS

There have been around 30 earthquakes and severe aftershocks off the coast of Chile in the past 24 hours maps from the US Geological Survey show.

Yesterday a areas were evacuated when an 8.2 magnitude quake sparked a tsunami alert.

Chile feels nearly 30 earthquakes in 24 hours Credit: USGS

Authorities declare state of emergency in Chile

Authorities in Chile have declared a state of emergency after a magnitude-8.2 earthquake claimed five lives off the country's north coast.

An 8.2 earthquake has struck off the coast of Credit: REUTERS/Cristian Vivero

The extent of damage has not yet been fully assessed, president Michelle Bachelet said, but she sent a military plane with 100 anti-riot police to join 300 soldiers deployed to prevent looting and round up escaped prisoners.

About 300 inmates escaped from a women's prison in the city of Iquique. In Arica, another city close to the quake's offshore epicentre, hospitals treated minor injuries, and some homes made of adobe were destroyed, authorities said.

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