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Chile - 'White earthquake'
9 ft of snow in 4 days
Following four days of non-stop snowfall piling as high as nine feet (2.7m) in some areas, President Sebastián Piñera declared much of the region a disaster area on Wednesday.
Although this part of the country is no stranger to cold weather, Piñera described the current polar front as the worst the region has seen in 30 years.
The communities declared as part of the disaster area are: Lonquimay, Curralehue, Melipeuco, Curacautín, Pucón, Cunco, Vilcún and Villarrica, where around 16,000 people were left isolated.
"In four days we have had four months worth of snowfall," said Regional Governor Miguel Mellado in a television interview. "We've got a very difficult situation here."
"It is likely that in the coming days we could suffer from more bad weather fronts, more heavy snowfall, that make the situation even worse," said Hinzpeter.
In Lonquimay, a town of just over 10,000, temperatures reportedly plunged to -9.4 F (-23 C), freezing pipes and leaving much of the city without water.
Thanks to Kenneth Lund, Thomas McHart, Lucy Mendenhall and William Sellers for this link
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