Jan. 9 - The Chilean government issues a health alert in four regions of the country, due to the effects of multiple forest fires. Jillian Kitchener reports.
Multiple fires have destroyed thousands of acres of forests in Chile. And the smoke has now blanketed the capital, Santiago. So much so, the Chilean government issued a health alert in four regions of the country. Chilean president Sebastian Pinera: (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CHILEAN PRESIDENT SEBASTIAN PINERA, SAYING: "This health alert is preventative, it gives the Health Ministry more means and resources so that it is able to prepare to confront these issues which may harm the health of the population." Deputy Health Secretary Jorge Diaz put out a warning as well. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) DEPUTY HEALTH SECRETARY JORGE DIAZ, SAYING: "Especially avoid physical activity outside, both exercise and the use of bicycles as a means of transport." Government workers handed out face masks, helping those affected by the environmental conditions. Others suffered emotionally with their destroyed homes. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) UNIDENTIFIED VICTIM, SAYING: "We had to evacuate, we all had to escape, the house burnt down." Crews continue their effort in extinguishing the raging fires.