Millions without drinking water in Chile after river contaminated

According to Reuters, three people died and other 19 are missing.

Rainstorms and landslides in Chile have contaminated a major river forcing the authorities to cut off drinking water to four million people in the capital, Santiago.

The drinking-water supply to around 1.5 million households in Santiago has been affected, with water providing company Aguas Andinas saying the torrential rains, which came during the country's usually dry summer months, were making repairs hard.

The rains, which caused rivers to overflow their banks in mountain valleys near Chile's capital, Santiago, had isolated 373 people, the Onemi emergency service said late on Sunday.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet wrote on Twitter that emergency teams were working to reach marooned people and restore the water supply.

Water gushing down from the Andes has cut off roads and isolated thousands of people.

"We can not guarantee resumption of the service until the River Maipo clears up".

Officials say the water supply from the Maipo river will remain cut off until the water flows clear after heavy rains struck the country.

South of San Jose de Maipo, in the O'Higgins Region of Chile, a 12-year-old girl was killed in a landslide and an estimated 1,500 tourists were stranded around Termas del Flaco, BioBioChile reported.

In the San Jose de Maipo Valley, near the capital, multiple emergency units are clearing the roads for the residents to evacuate the affected areas.

  • Leroy Wright