Chile floods: Nearly 400 descend from Cajón del Maipo as evacuation begins

SANTIAGO — Chile’s national police force, commonly known as Carabineros, has authorized the descent of about 400 people who were isolated in the sector of Baños Morales in Cajón del Maipo.

The evacuation comes in the wake of deadly flooding and landslides across the central parts of the country. At least three people have been killed while 19 others are missing amid a red alert in Antofagasta, Atacama, Coquimbo, Valparaíso, Metropolitana de Santiago and the O’Higgins administrative divisions.

Earlier, the passage of people who did not have off-road vehicles were prohibited.
However, after clearing the route, Carabineros managed to evacuate about 200 people from Baños Colina isolated until Monday morning. Similarly, tourists trapped near El Yeso dam were evacuated.

Meanwhile, there were reports of three adults, between 70 and 80 years old, still being isolated in plot 15 of Lo Valdés.
According to Chile’s Ministry of Interior and Public Safety (ONEMI), the flooding has affected the potable water access to thousands of Chileans, while tens of thousands more could be affected.

Some 830 people are stranded, 380 people have been sheltered and two homes have been destroyed due to heavy rains, according to the agency.

Cajón del Maipo is a gorge in central Chile, southeast of Santiago. It’s home to El Morado Natural Monument, a mountain reserve with trails to the San Francisco Glacier and Laguna Morales. The gorge, rich with birdlife and thermal springs, is dotted with towns, including San José de Maipo with its adobe houses.