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Chile forest fire destroys more than 150 homes in Valparaiso

More than 150 homes have been destroyed by a huge forest fire in the Chilean port city of Valparaiso.

Thousands of people are being evacuated from Valparaiso to escape the flames, which have been fanned by strong winds coming in from the Pacific.

Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet put the army in charge of the evacuation after declaring the city, 70 miles west of capital Santiago, a catastrophe zone.

There are no reported deaths but many are suffering from smoke inhalation.

More than 150 homes have been destroyed by a huge forest fire in the Chilean port city of Valparaiso

More than 150 homes have been destroyed by a huge forest fire in the Chilean port city of Valparaiso

Large parts of Valparaiso are without electricity.

Valparaiso’s mayor, Jorge Castro, told Chile’s National Television that refuges have been set up for the thousands of residents that have been forced to flee the fire.

“Valparaiso is without electricity at the moment and this means the flame column is creating a Dante-esque panorama and is advancing in an apparently uncontrollable manner,” Jorge Castro said.

The battle to contain the blaze has been hampered by strong Pacific coast winds that have pushed the fire deeper into Valparaiso’s neighborhoods.

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