Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Valparaíso Fire Update

Today the weather is much better for fighting fires: cool and misty, with little wind. The fires are under control, with many having been extinguished, or simply burnt out. Even so, one official was quoted as saying it could take 20 days before everything is out.

The latest report from ONEMI.cl, posted last night stated that 2,300 homes were lost, 15 people have died and approximately 11,000 have been evacuated. The students on my campus voted to cancel classes for this entire week, in order to help in the relief efforts.

For me, this seems very unusual, coming from the US, where relief is first organized before people are allowed to move into an effected area. Here, everyone jumps in right away, rushing to the scene to help.
There are massive drives to collect food, toiletries, school supplies, diapers etc. Every organization is collecting things, all apartments, neighborhoods and schools. People are getting together to assist the firefighters as well. For instance, the family of one of my colleagues is making food tomorrow to deliver to the firefighters. I am hoping to help, but we STILL need to get Steve and Joel´s cedulas fixed, and that must be done tomorrow.

Here is a link from ONEMI.cl, which has a map of where there are, or have been fires in Valpo:

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