2 dead after severe storm lashes south-central Chile

Santiago, Aug 22 (UNI) Two people have died following a severe storm that has lashed south-central Chile since Saturday, Deputy Interior Minister Manuel Monsalve said Monday.

One of the fatal victims was a volunteer firefighter who died while trying to rescue a dog from a swollen river; and the other a man who was crushed to death when a tree fell atop his vehicle, the official said at a press conference.

“At the moment 423 people are reported to be at shelters, 26,297 are stranded and 33,895 have been evacuated, in addition to the unfortunate death of two people,” the National Disaster Prevention and Response Service said.

The storm has paralyzed three local healthcare centers and affected 226 schools. Train service has been suspended on routes that connect the capital Santiago with its close southern destinations.

The region has reported rainfall of some 15 cm in five days, said Humberto Aqueveque, the regional presidential delegate for the Maule region.

It is the second severest storm to hit south-central Chile following a storm at the end of June that registered the heaviest unseasonal rains in 30 years.

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