Chile Blaze Aftermath: Valparaiso Residents Scavenge Through Ruins As Chilean Government Attempts To Get Fire Under Control [PHOTOS]

 @lukeydukeyl.villapaz@ibtimes.com
on April 15 2014 11:04 AM
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Less than two weeks after Chile’s northwest coastline was struck by an 8.2 magnitude earthquake, a deadly blaze spread through the city of Valparaiso this weekend, leaving 15 dead and over 500 injured.

Throughout Monday, Firefighters struggled to get Valaparaiso, Chile, blaze under control while residents begun their attempts to salvage any remnants of their homes, which were consumed by the intense fires. Many residents who made their way back to where they lived after the fires passed only found ashes, rubble and burnt vehicle remains where their homes used to be.

Over 11,000 people were displaced by the Chile blaze, which has consumed 2,500 homes and 1,145 acres of land, according to a statement by Chilean Minster of the Interior and Public Security, Rodrigo Peñailillo, on Tuesday. In addition to firefighters on the ground, 21 aircraft and six aircraft from Argentina have been deployed to assist with extinguishing the Valparaiso inferno.

Previously, President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, traveled to the burning city of Valparaiso on Sunday, after declaring a state of emergency for the area. With emergency personnel deployed throughout the region, Bachelet expressed her thoughts on the effect of the blaze:

“It's a tremendous tragedy, perhaps the worst fire in the history of Valparaiso, and we all know very well the impact this is having on the lives of many and, indeed, throughout the city.”

While firefighters continue to fight the blaze on Tuesday, the Chilean government has already begun planning rebuilding efforts and the distribution of food to displaced residents.

"The President cited the entire cabinet and the instructions are very clear, start the reconstruction process as soon as possible and that doesn’t only mean a new home, it means going much further. That is why we have deployed the Ministers of Health, Ministry of Public Works, Housing, Social Development and Ministry of the Government,” Peñailillo remarked.

The cause of the fire, which started on Saturday, is currently under investigation.

Chile Blaze - Debris Smoke April 14

Residents remove debris from their burned house after a fire burned several neighborhoods in the hills in Valparaiso city, northwest of Santiago, April 14, 2014. Reuters/Eliseo Fernandez

Chile Blaze - Debris April 14

Residents remove debris from their burned house after a fire burned several neighborhoods in the hills in Valparaiso city, northwest of Santiago, April 14, 2014. Reuters/Eliseo Fernandez

Chile Blaze - Bicycle  April 13

A bicycle destroyed by a major fire lies amid the destruction in Valparaiso, April 13, 2014. Reuters/Lucas Ninno

Chile Blaze - Salvage  April 13

Residents whose home was destroyed by a major fire try to salvage their belongings in Valparaiso, April 13, 2014. Reuters/Lucas Ninno

Chile Blaze - Water Ashes April 13

A resident whose home was destroyed by a major fire pours water on ashes amid the destruction in Valparaiso, April 13, 2014. Reuters/Lucas Ninno

Chile Blaze - Memory Square April 13

A resident, whose home was damaged by a major fire, sits in Memory Square in the center of the fire zone in Valparaiso, April 13, 2014. Reuters/Lucas Ninno

Chile Blaze - Gun Remains April 13

A gun lies amid the destruction caused by a major fire in Valparaiso, April 13, 2014. Reuters/Lucas Ninno

Chile Blaze - Remains 1 April 13

A resident walks past the remnants of a car at the location where a forest fire burned several neighborhoods in the hills in Valparaiso city, northwest of Santiago, April 13, 2014. Reuters/Eliseo Fernandez

Chile Blaze - Destruction April 13

A resident whose home was destroyed by a major fire sits amid the destruction in Valparaiso, April 13, 2014. Reuters/Lucas Ninno

Chile Blaze - Car Remains April 13

A resident walks past cars destroyed by a major fire in Valparaiso, April 13, 2014. Reuters/Lucas Ninno

Chile Blaze - Residents 1 April 14

Residents whose homes were destroyed or damaged by a major fire try to enter a shelter for victims of the blaze, in Valparaiso, April 14, 2014. Reuters/Lucas Ninno

Chile Blaze - Helicopters Water April 14

Helicopters pick up water from the Pacific Ocean to dump on the smoldering remains of houses after a fire burned several neighborhoods in the hills in Valparaiso city, northwest of Santiago April 14, 2014. Reuters/Ivan Alvarado

Chile Blaze - Helicopter April 14

A helicopter dumps sea water on smoldering brush and debris after a fire burned several neighborhoods in the hills in Valparaiso city, northwest of Santiago April 14, 2014. Reuters/Ivan Alvarado

Chile Blaze - Firefighters  April 13

Firefighters take a break at the location where a forest fire burned several neighborhoods in the hills in Valparaiso city, northwest of Santiago, April 13, 2014. Reuters/Cristobal Saavedra

Chile Blaze - Firefighters 2 April 13

Firefighters work to put out a fire in Valparaiso city, northwest of Santiago, April 13, 2014. Reuters/Eliseo Fernandez

Chile Blaze - Firefighters 3 April 13

Firefighters work to put out a fire in Valparaiso city, northwest of Santiago, April 13, 2014. Reuters/Eliseo Fernandez

Chile Blaze - Residents Shelter April 14

Residents, whose homes were destroyed or damaged by a major fire, arrange their belongings inside a shelter for victims of the blaze, in Valparaiso, April 14, 2014. Reuters/Lucas Ninno

Chile Blaze - Wall April 14

A girl stands in front of a wall of a burned house during the fire that affected several neighborhoods on the hills in Valparaiso city, northwest of Santiago, April 14, 2014. Reuters/Eliseo Fernandez