ASOEX expresses solidarity with families affected by heavy rains in Central and Southern Chile
In response to heavy rains impacting both Central and Southern Chile, the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association said they are assessing damage in growing areas and the impact on water storage and irrigation infrastructure, as well as evaluating support actions to communities impacted by the rain.
"People are facing losses and very challenging times due to these rains. Our heart goes out to them, especially the people working in the countryside and rural areas of Chile. We are evaluating support measures for these communities and are committed to working with the authorities on what action can be taken to assist them,” said Iván Marambio, ASOEX president.
"It has been many years since we have seen rainfall like this, generating a rise in water levels in the basins and causing rivers and streams to swell. Although the country was expecting rainfall that would allow us to combat our 10+ year drought, we are now facing an excess of precipitation in a very short time and with inadequate infrastructure. Our reports of the accumulated rainfall between June 19 and June 25 indicate there are several areas, from Valparaíso to Los Lagos that have received more than 100mm of rain. Maule and Ñuble have some parts with more than 200mm of rainfall," said Marambio.
"Our first concern is the people, but we are also worried about damage to canals and dams. We’ve closed intakes and canals due to excess flow, but in some cases, this hasn’t been enough, and people in the surrounding areas have been impacted," said Marambio.
Marambio stressed the importance of working together. "The challenges imposed by climate change must be addressed by all of us: communities, unions, the private industry and the public sector. ASOEX will work hard to achieve this unity and improve our water infrastructure.”
ASOEX reports no direct damage to fruit, but the organization is undertaking an assessment of damage to orchards from flooding and mud. The impact on automatic irrigation systems and infrastructure is also being evaluated. "We will be able to better assess the full impact over the next few days," said Marambio.