Thousands cut off by huge snowfalls in Chile

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Thousands cut off by huge snowfalls in Chile

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Chile declared a disaster zone on Thursday in several parts of the south of the country following heavy snowfalls.

As well as having to cope with an unusually cold spell that’s hit much of South America, the Araucanía region is also dealing with the aftermath of a recent volcano eruption.

Some 20,000 people are said to be cut off. Government workers have been struggling to clear roads and ensure the flow of aid.

Trucks filled with food and other supplies are being sent to the area. The authorities have been unable to communicate with thousands in vast rural areas.

Helicopters are being used to reach them.

“There’s no electricity, but we just have to get through it. God give us this life, we have to pull through, because where else are we going to go?” said one elderly woman.

Highways and mountain passes connecting Chile with Argentina have been disrupted.

70 percent of roads are impassable in the worst affected areas. Many are on red alert with more snow forecast.