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Millions without clean drinking water as fatal summer floods batter Chile

Chile hit by flooding cutting off clean water to millions

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Millions without clean drinking water as fatal summer floods batter Chile

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Millions of people are without clean drinking water after heavy rains battered Chile over the weekend.

The incident is unusual as the downpours came during the usually dry summer months, three people are reported dead with at least 19 missing.

The rains caused rivers to burst their banks in the mountainous valleys close to the capital, Santiago.

A number of communities have been isolated by the waters.

Chile’s interior minister is Mario Fernandez:“We have a complex situation regarding the drinkable water supply in 33 communities in Santiago, that’s around six million people.”

Rescue workers had to clear mud and debris from the roads before residents affected by the waters could evacuate the higher ground to the safety of the lower reaches.

It was the second major flooding to devastate Chile in the past year. Last April, floods smashed into the San Jose de Maipo valley, killing one and closing production at some of the worlds largest copper mines.