Catastrophe Declared in Chile’s Auracania Region Following Heavy Snow

Posted July 21st, 2011 at 1:40 pm (UTC-5)
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Chilean officials have declared a “catastrophe” in eight southern districts where heavy snowfall has left an estimated 6,500 people isolated.

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera says that the declaration will free up more resources to help those who need help in the mountainous Auracania region.

Days of bad weather have left some areas buried under nearly three meters of snow and without power. Officials say they have sent some 400 boxes of supplies to the affected villagers, but snow-covered roads are making it difficult to get the supplies to their destination.

Emergency crews have been working to clear the roadways. Some residents also say the situation has left them without cellphone service or radio communication.

More snow is forecast for the region.