Dec 14, 2016

Chilean heat wave breaks record temperature set a century ago

Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan Region
Chile
by
Gram Slattery and Anthony Esposito
,
Reuters

A heat wave brought blistering temperatures to the streets of Chile's capital city, Santiago, on Wednesday and broke a century-old record as thermometers reached 37.3 Celsius (99 degrees Fahrenheit).

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The nation's forestry service, which is currently battling scores of forest fires in central Chile, warned of "extreme risk" of dry vegetation going up in flames, creating a potential headache for Chile's timber industry.

Authorities said that exposure to ultraviolet light, the cause of summer tans and sunburns, was also a concern, especially in agriculture and other industries that require outdoor work.

"It's at an extreme level, I mean dangerous just doesn't do it as an adjective," Luis Salazar, with the nation's meteorological service told Reuters.

Santiago, a city of around 6.2 million people, is in a dry mountain valley in central Chile less than 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the Pacific Ocean and typically enjoys a moderate climate. The temperature on Wednesday broke a previous high of 37.2 Celsius, set in 1915.