By Mohsin Abbas / Santiago Times Staff
Santa Olga has emerged as the icon locality of the tragedy provoked by the worst forest fires in Chile, which destroyed the small town of almost five thousand inhabitants who fortunately managed to be evacuated.
Amidst the misfortune of the total loss of housing, where it is only possible to find charred structures of bars, among dusty and ash-filled streets, more than 1,000 buildings, including a police checkpoint, a fire station, schools, nurseries, shops and a post office were reduced to rubble.
However, in the midst of destruction, the temple of the Evangelical Pentecostal Church, dependent on the commune of Constitución, remains almost intact, as shows a video recorded by Ana Maria Aravena.
The modest wooden building is at the western end of Santa Olga, behind a ravine, which would have saved it from falling down.
The pastor of the church has valued what happened with the temple in Santa Olga. However, he regretted that the fire has destroyed the house of the parishioners and that two other temples in the area of Empedrado, located in La Aguada and Tangarillo, are seriously damaged.
In that line, the pastor assured that help can be given to affected members of his congregation in the main temple in Constitución, located in Tocornal 427, just three blocks from the Plaza de Armas.
Surprisingly, the temple was not the only one that remained intact. Also a fast food place, located near the exit point of Constitución, a city and commune of Talca Province, Maule Region, was saved from the ferocious fires.
Although the evangelical temple stands intact, the Methodist Pentecostal Church of Santa Olga was completely destroyed in the worst forest fires in Chile’s history.