Forest fires in Chile leave at least 99 dead

Massive forest fires raging in central Chile have caused a lot of damage, especially in the coastal areas. Multiple media outlets say at least 99 people have been killed so far.

Chile's Interior Minister Carolina Toha said 92 forest fires had broken out and scorched more than 43,000 hectares as of Saturday.

Central Chile's Valparaiso houses a World Heritage site. More than 1,000 houses have apparently been affected there.

Footage taken at the site shows a large amount of debris and charred vehicles. Residents carrying bags can also be seen evacuating as a fire creeps closer to some houses.

President Gabriel Boric has expressed concerns about further damage. He explained that the fires are spreading at a fast pace and weather conditions are making it difficult to contain them.

He urged people to evacuate and follow instructions.

Multiple media outlets are warning that there is a heightened risk of wildfires in Chile and other countries in South America along the Pacific coast. They blame the El Nino weather phenomenon for prolonged periods of drought and hot days. During El Nino events, Pacific Ocean temperatures become higher than usual.