A wildfire has damaged dozens of homes outside a port city in Chile. The federal government has declared an alert over the fires as at least 100 hectares (250 acres) were burned by the afternoon on Tuesday near Valparaiso. The fires were fanned by strong winds, but authorities have suggested they may have been started by an arson attack.
The Chilean Air Force said on Wednesday it had located debris believed to be from a military cargo plane that crashed this week with 38 people aboard over a remote stretch of frigid sea between South America and the Antarctic. The debris was found 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) south of where the plane last made contact, the Air Force said in a statement.
A military plane with 38 people on board has disappeared en route to Antarctica, Chile’s air force says. A search-and-rescue mission is underway. Those missing include 17 crew and 21 passengers. Air Force Gen Eduardo Mosqueira told local media that the plane did not activate any distress signal. He said the plane, whose pilot had extensive experience, might have been forced to touch down on water.
Chile has pulled out of hosting two major international summits, including a UN climate change conference, as anti-government protests continue. President Sebastián Piñera said the decision had caused him “pain” but his government needed “to prioritize re-establishing public order”. The COP25 climate summit was scheduled for 2 to 13 December, while the Apec trade forum was next month. The UN said it was now looking at alternative venues.
Chile’s government will extend a state of emergency to cities in its north and south, President Sebastian Pinera said late on Sunday, after at least seven people were killed amid violent clashes and arson attacks over the weekend. “We are at war against a powerful enemy, who is willing to use violence without any limits,” Pinera said in a late-night televised statement at army headquarters in Santiago.
Conservative billionaire and former Chilean President, Sebastian Pinera, was elected by the people to serve a second term as Chile’s President, Sunday. Pinera defeated leftist candidate, Alejandro Guillier, who had been backed by the departing president, socialist leader Michelle Bachelet. Pinera called for unity after his victory, saying, ‘Chile needs agreements more than confrontations.’