Photo: Chile's Aguas Andinas Shut Down
Some 2 million inhabitants of Santiago were without drinking water Tuesday due to the closing down of production plants following a rainstorm and flooding in the Andes east of the Chilean capital, officials said.
The cutoff was expected to last between 8:30 a.m. and midnight, and will affect some 600,000 homes in 22 Santiago municipalities, the Aguas Andinas Company and national emergency management office said.
At first it was announced that the lack of drinking water would affect 320,000 homes in 13 Santiago municipalities, although now the service cutoff not only appears more widespread, but the supply is not likely to be reestablished until after the original estimate of between 4:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. Wednesday.
Aguas Andinas, the principal source of water for the city of 6.2 million inhabitants and managed by Spain’s Aguas Barcelona, or Agbar, announced early Tuesday the provision of “an alternative emergency supply, coordinated with the emergency management offices of the affected municipalities.”
The unexpected summer downpour on Monday afternoon at an altitude of 4,500 meters (14,750 feet) in the Andes, together with the high temperatures and snowmelt, caused mudslides in different areas, the worst being in San Jose de Maipo looking toward Santiago, and in parts of the O’Higgins and Maule regions south of the capital.