Chile: Heavy rains in Santiago lead to water shutoffs

By Kendall Thiele/The Santiago Times

SANTIAGO – More than 3.5 million people in Santiago have been without water since Friday morning and some roads were cut off following heavy rains in the Chilean capital.

Another emergency water shut off was announced for Saturday evening in some sectors of Villa Alemana and Quilpué in the Valparaíso region.

According to an ESVAL press release, cessation of water supply started at about 1:30 pm. The rainfall these last few days resulted in high levels of soil in the Aconcagua River, which could jeopardize the filtration systems.

“We have seen more than two days of high turbidity in the River and we have decided to preemptively stop the system in order to lessen the impact and prevent even more days without water,” said Zonal Deputy Manager Alejandro Salas.

In the past, when precautionary steps were not taken following heavy debris in the river communities were left without water for weeks.

The company asked these affected populations to moderate their water usage, avoiding watering gardens and washing cars this Saturday according to Carina Almarza of Bio Bio Chile.

The most affected areas include: Quilpué, Los Pinos, Tenlente Serrano, Sol del Pacífico, Villa Porvenir, Villa Pacífico, Villa Alemana Sur, Ciprés, Santa Sara, El Álamo, Casa El Hipódromo, Gumersindo.