Wildfire in Chilean port city of Valparaiso leaves 700 homeless

Other News Materials 28 December 2019 02:38 (UTC +04:00)

More than 245 homes have been destroyed and 700 people left destitute after a forest fire tore through a low-income area of the Chilean seaside city of Valparaiso, Trend reports citing Reuters.

President Sebastian Pinera said on Thursday during a tour of the affected zone that there was evidence the fire had been started deliberately.

“I deeply regret that what should have been a good night, a night of peace, should have been so profoundly altered by this tragedy,” he said.

Valparaiso, known for its colorful wood-frame houses, is popular among tourists in the South American country.

The fire broke out in a forested area on the outskirts of the city and spread toward the coast, hitting the Rocuant and San Roque hills, a jumble of settlements that overlook the city.

Inhabitants fled their homes just moments before sitting down to their Christmas Eve dinner, some losing all their belongings and even pets.