Four million without water in deadly Chile floods

2017-02-26 21:30


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Santiago - Rainstorms and landslides in Chile killed four and contaminated a major river, forcing authorities to cut off drinking water to four million people in the capital, authorities said.

The torrential rain that started on Saturday prompted mudslides and rubble to surge into the Maipo river which supplies most homes in the capital.

"We are talking about 1.45 million homes that are going to be affected by the cutting off of the water supply, which will be total or partial in 30 districts" of Santiago, the region's governor Claudio Orrego told a news conference.

He said the cut would affect more than 60% of the city's 6.5 million-strong population - about 3.9 million people.

School term

The move prompted many people to go out with buckets and pans to collect water at emergency water taps made available by the authorities.

Others rushed to supermarkets to buy bottles of water from the shelves.

"We still do not know when the drinking water will be turned back on," Orrego said.

Authorities ordered restaurants and businesses without drinking water to stay closed.

They also postponed the start of lessons for the new school term on Monday.

The interior ministry said four people were known to have died and six were missing due to the rain.

Read more on:    chile  |  weather

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