The death toll from the devastating wildfires in central Chile has risen to 122, as authorities continue to search for hundreds of people who are still missing. The fires, which started on Friday and spread rapidly across the Valparaiso region, have destroyed more than 3,000 homes and left thousands of people homeless.
President Gabriel Boric declared two days of national mourning and visited the affected areas on Sunday. He said the fires were “a tragedy of enormous magnitude” and pledged to provide assistance to the victims and rebuild the communities. He also said the government was investigating the causes of the fires, which are suspected to have been started deliberately.
The worst-hit city was Viña del Mar, a popular tourist destination known for its beaches and botanical gardens. The fires ravaged several neighborhoods that had been precariously built on the hills overlooking the city. Many residents had to flee their homes with little time to save their belongings or their pets. Some returned on Monday to find nothing but ashes and rubble.