An urgent appeal was launched by the Archbishop of Concepción, His Exc. Mgr. Fernando Chomali, to express solidarity to families who are suffering from the tragedy of the fires occurred in several municipalities in the area.
The fires have left more than 500 people homeless, caused a victim, over one hundred houses and a large company destroyed, more than 10,000 hectares of forest burned. “The Church of Concepcion is shocked by what is happening and my appeal to solidarity is for those who suffer, because many families have lost their homes and there are also people who have lost their jobs”, said Mgr. Chomali . In the note sent to Fides, the Archbishop says that due to the danger of fire in the NIPAS area, the Nursing home San Jose was also evacuated: the 20 elders are safe and in good condition, temporarily transferred to the School of Portezuelo.
“As a Church we cannot remain indifferent to the suffering of the people - said Mgr. Chomali -, and therefore launches an appeal so that aid is brought to the parishes, the Cathedral and the offices of the Social Pastoral, in order to assist and support people faced with a very complex situation. The quality of a society is measured in the ability of solidarity with those who suffer. The Church cooperates with the State, by providing pastoral structures to bring support to those affected by this tragedy. We are faced with an emergency, and the government declared red alert, and as a community of faith we cannot remain indifferent”.
The data of the damage has not yet been updated completely, unfortunately there are already 7 firefighters who have died while they were fighting against the fire in the municipality of Carahue, about 730 kilometers south of Santiago. According to the National Forest Coorporazione (CONAF), between December 30, 2011 and Friday, January 6, 2012, 34,000 hectares of forests burned in the Bio Bio region and Araucania; 171 homes were destroyed by fire, and there are 17 locations considered alive to the danger of fire, while the high temperature these days is not conducive to the full shutdown of the outbreaks.