Flooding Hits Northern Chile (video)

May 13, 2017 Updated: May 16, 2017

Unusually heavy rains in the northern desert region of Chile caused heavy flooding that is affecting hundreds of residents in recent days.

On May 13, Chilean television aired images of communities surrounded by floodwaters and overflowing rivers.

The National Office of Emergencies (Onemi) has put the area on red alert.

Several communities, including Chanaral were evacuated.

According to Onemi, some 120 people in the Atacama region have been affected. Some 1,300 are taking refuge in shelters and some 3,000 homes are believed to have been affected. Communities are struggling with power outages and shortages of drinking water. But Chilean Vice President Mario Fernandez told reporters that everything was under control.

Onemi reported that the rain is starting to lighten.