On February 28th, Chile encountered a very heavy rainfall which prevented millions in the capital of Chile, Santiago, in having access to water. This flood was so intense that it caused extreme runoff and debris in one of Chile’s most main water supply providing rivers, the Maipo River. Because of what happened, Chileans are having to scramble in finding other alternatives that would take place of drinking fresh water. Others are known to have raided nearby markets to stockpile on bottles of water available.
In addition to the extremity of the current situation, mudslides and landslides were also caused by the dry weather. Before the floods, the entire region was already going through a drought, and huge forest fires wiped out several areas throughout Chile, namely a city known as Cajon del Maipo, a valley in the SouthEast where the Maipo River flows. In fact, according to Toro, director of the National Emergency Office, he claims that the rainfall only made up around 5 millimeters of the problem, and that the entire area was already so fragile because of the droughts and forest fires that it went through.
What’s more shocking is the huge aftereffect it has caused in the population. These floods have claimed to have taken the lives of three people and left 19 citizens missing. In addition, hundreds have been cut off from the subsequent landslides from these storms.
To lessen the severity of the current issues Chile is facing, Santiago’s water company is working to restore the water supply for more than 1.4 million people. This mass flood may have critically disrupted regular living for many citizens, but hopefully, there has been immense humanitarian aid persistently in that area.
<Diane Kim Fairmont Prep 11th Grade