It's chilly in Chile
Snowfall blankets capital Santiago with heaviest accumulation in years
SANTIAGO, Chile — Strong rains, thunderstorms, big waves and snowfalls affected 14 of 15 regions in Chile on Saturday, with the country’s National Emergency Office issuing an alert.
Magallanes, at Chile’s southern tip, was the only part of the country that was not under a weather alert.
From early on Saturday, strong waves hit the coast of the regions of Arica and Parinacota. A weather system formed over the southern region of Bio Bio, which saw thunderstorms, especially along the coast.
Chile’s meteorological direction issued an alert for thunderstorms in the regions of La Araucania and the coast of Aysen, while strong rains battered Maule.
Santiago and other towns around the capital reported snowfalls, while the provinces of San Felipe, Los Andes and Valparaiso are under a weather alert for sleet and frost.
The emergency office also declared an alert for strong winds in the northern region of Atacama, with winds reaching up to 100 kilometers per hour in the mountains.
Santiago also saw strong snowfalls for several hours, with temperatures dropping to -3 C, leading to power cuts for 280,000 people.
The blackouts were mainly caused by trees and branches falling on power lines, officials said.
A worker died trying to clear ice, while two people were injured when they were electrocuted by a fallen power line, city officials told local media.
Children however were delighted by the weather, and many headed outdoors to hurl snowballs and build snowmen.
Several football games, including some Copa Chile tournament games, were postponed until further notice, the professional football association said.
People make a snowman in Santiago, Chile, on Saturday. An unusual snowfall surprised the inhabitants of the Chilean capital, causing power cuts and traffic jams.