Dec 14, 2016

Chilean heat wave breaks record temperature set a century ago

Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan Region
Gram Slattery and Anthony Esposito

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).


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.