The president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, declared a state of catastrophe in all the cities of the Valparaíso Region (center) due to the problems of drought in the place. The absence of rains in the region threatens livestock and agricultural production.
The declaration of a catastrophe zone, requested by regional authorities, reflects the complex situation affecting Valparaíso, where rainfall decreased this year by 70.5% compared to the usual average.
The government decree applies to "all the continental communes of the Valparaíso Region, for a period of 12 months as of September 26, 2019," said a statement from the Valparaíso Municipality. In this way, it expands the disaster zones that were in force in the region since August, which until now only involved 14 communes.
The measure will grant greater powers to the Mayor of Valparaíso, Jorge Martínez, and the regional authorities to organize and distribute aid in the city, coordinating recovery programs in the affected areas more quickly.
Some 56 communes in Chile are under a decree of ‘Water Shortage’ and another 111 under ‘Agricultural Emergency’ in central regions of the country.
The drought has also wreaked havoc on the state coffers, which during the first half of the year spent more than 10 million dollars for the supply of water in tanker trucks.
In all of 2018, this spending reached about 16 million, according to figures from the Fiscal Expenditure Observatory released this day by the newspaper El Mercurio.
Chile complies with 7 of the 9 conditions of vulnerability to climate change, which places it among the 10 nations most affected by this phenomenon, according to the 2017 Global Climate Risk Index report.
The trans-Andean country will host between December 2 and 13 the Cop25, the largest world summit on climate change, where policies to combat the increase in temperature on the planet will be discussed.
Sources: mundo.sputniknews.com laverdadonline.com informador.mx elcomercio.pe elheraldo.co