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Death toll climbs to 99 in central Chile’s raging forest fires

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Santiago: Death toll from forest fires raging in central Chile’s Valparaiso region has climbed to 99, the country’s Legal Medical Service (SML) said Sunday.

So far, the SML, Chile’s official forensics agency, has identified 32 of the fatal victims of the blaze that broke out Friday in the South American nation.

“The SML regrets the tragedy that the Valparaiso region is experiencing,” the agency said in a release, adding that all of the region’s technical, medical and administrative teams, with the support of professionals from Santiago, are ready to tackle the emergency.

According to the latest report issued by Chile’s National Disaster Prevention and Response Service, more than 11,000 hectares have been razed in Valparaiso, located about 100 km west of the capital Santiago.

A state of emergency has been declared to deploy the military to help fight the fires and channel more resources to the region.

The fires are the deadliest in recent decades in the country.

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