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Fire destroys 150 homes in Chile

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Fire destroys 150 homes in Chile

A large forest fire has destroyed more than 150 homes in the Chilean port city of Valparaiso. Thousands of people are being evacuated from the city to escape the flames, which have been fanned by strong winds coming in from the Pacific, BBC reports.

President Michelle Bachelet put the army in charge of the evacuation after declaring the city, 110km (70 miles) west of Santiago, a catastrophe zone.

There are no reported deaths but many are suffering from smoke inhalation.

Large parts of Valparaiso are without electricity.

The battle to contain the blaze has been hampered by strong Pacific coast winds that have pushed the fire deeper into the city's neighbourhoods.

"The weather is complicating the situation," emergency official Guillermo de la Mazza told reporters. "The wind is not doing us any favours. The evacuation is our top priority, along with controlling the fire itself."

Source: BBC

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