Mudslide in southern Chile kills three; 15 others missing

A video taken by Chilean police from a helicopter showed a vast swath of the remote town of Villa Santa Lucia buried beneath the mud as the landslide plowed its way down a flooded river valley. Photograph:( AFP )

AFP Chile Dec 17, 2017, 01.36 AM (IST)

 A mudslide tore through a small village near a popular national park in southern Chile on Saturday (December 16), leaving three people dead and 15 missing after a night of torrential downpours, authorities said.

A video taken by Chilean police from a helicopter showed a vast swath of the remote town of Villa Santa Lucia, near Chaiten in coastal Patagonia, buried beneath the mud as the landslide plowed its way down a flooded river valley.

Two Chilean women and a male tourist whose name and nationality have not been disclosed died in the accident, authorities said. Rescue workers were continuing to search through the debris for at least 15 other people.

The mudslide also destroyed a school and several homes and roadways as well as a voting centre ahead of Chile´s presidential election on Sunday (December 17).

More than 4.5 inches (11.4 cm) of rain fell in 24 hours, the country´s Interior Ministry said, but weather conditions were expected to improve later in the day.