Heavy rainfall, snowstorm lash Chile

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Santiago, July 16 (IANS) Strong rains, electric storms, big waves and snowfalls affected 14 of 15 regions in Chile with the country’s National Emergency Office (ONEMI) issuing an alert.

Magallanes, at Chile’s southern tip, was the only part of the country that was not under a weather alert.

From early Saturday, strong waves hit the coast of the regions of Arica and Parinacota. A weather system formed over the southern region of Bio Bio, which saw electric storms, especially along the coast, Xinhua news agency reported.

Chile’s meteorological direction issued an alert for electric storms in the regions of La Araucania and the coast of Aysen, while strong rains battered Maule.

Santiago and other towns around the capital reported snowfalls, while the provinces of San Felipe, Los Andes and Valparaiso are under a weather alert for sleet and frost.

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ONEMI also declared an alert for strong winds in the northern region of Atacama, with winds reaching up to 100 kmph in the mountains.

Santiago also saw strong snowfalls for several hours, with temperatures dropping to minus three centigrade, leading to power cuts for 280,000 people.



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