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article imageUnusual heavy rainstorms in northern Chile: 4000 homes damaged

By Igor I. Solar     Aug 11, 2010 in World
Antofagasta - At least four thousand homes have been damaged by a frontal system and heavy rainfall affecting the region of Antofagasta in the far north of Chile; rain is a very abnormal phenomenon in this desertic region.
An unusual system of bad weather affected the coastal region and city of Antofagasta, located 1 377 Km north of Santiago, causing flooding, power outages and forcing the closure of schools. Some schools are being used to provide emergency shelter for people who had to evacuate their homes because of rain damage.
Most affected were the residents of Villa Las Americas, a poor neighbourhood situated in the northern part of the city. The First Division of the Chilean Army based in Antofagasta carried out the operation along with personnel from the local City Hall, reported Diario La Segunda (In Spanish).
Rain is a very rare occurrence in Antofagasta located in the coast of the second northernmost region of Chile, a very dry, desertic area. Therefore, rainwater evacuation systems are almost non-existent. The normal average rainfall in the whole year is less than 2 mm, while normal rainfall in August, the middle of winter in the Southern Hemisphere, in this city is less than 0.1 mm which results from minor mist condensation.
According to the forecast, the bad weather would begin to decline within the next few hours, however it is expected that the temperature may drop to about 5 degrees C, well below the normal low temperature in the area at this time of the year, which is about 15°C.
Aerial view of the northern city of Antofagasta  Chile.
Aerial view of the northern city of Antofagasta, Chile.
A. Bracani
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