The Chilean government has declared a flood emergency in the Atacama region, Floodlist reports.
President Sebastian Piñera and Interior Minister Gonzalo Blumel visited the affected areas on 28 January, where the head of state declared a state of emergency for the communes of Copiapo, Tierra Amarilla, Diego de Almagro, Chanyaral and Alto del Carmen. Many cities were flooded with mud and flood waters up to 1 m deep.
Several people have gone missing as a result of the floods, but have since been found, according to the Chilean Disaster Management Agency. Agriculture in the area has also been severely damaged.
The communes of Alto del Carmen and Tierra Amarilla were evacuated. Hundreds of people were left without electricity.
The Chilean Meteorological Office (DMC) has issued a warning of further heavy rain and thunderstorms for the Atacama, as well as the neighboring regions of Antofagasta and Coquimbo.
Catastrophic flooding hit Atacama, Antofagasta and Coquimbo in March 2015. Then the victims of the natural disaster were 26 people, 125 people were missing and 8 thousand houses were damaged or destroyed.