The number of casualties is increasing due to the fire that quickly engulfed central Chile.

So far, at least 99 people have died, and the fate of about 200 people remains unknown.

After a forest fire was reported near Lake Penuela Reserve in the central Valparaiso region on the 2nd (local time), damage from forest fires is increasing due to strong winds and dry weather.

In particular, on the 3rd, which was Saturday, the wind was so strong that the maximum wind speed was recorded at 60 km per hour.

Damage was concentrated in Chile's representative resort area, Viña del Mar, Quilpue, Villa Alemana, and Limarche.

In El Salto, an industrial area, a paint factory was engulfed in flames, and an explosion caused by flammable substances occurred inside.

More than 90% of the historic botanical garden, which had been managed by the government for over 73 years, was destroyed, and four family members of workers died inside.

The burned area in these three locations amounts to 110㎢ as of today.

Although the exact count has not yet been released, authorities estimate that 3,000 to 6,000 homes were damaged.

Macarena Ripamonti, mayor of Viña del Mar, said, "The number of people whose lives or deaths are difficult to confirm amounts to about 200. Some people have been contacted by their families, but this estimate is currently consistent with central government data." .

President Boric added that 5 to 6 days will be designated as a national mourning period to commemorate the victims.

The Korean Embassy in Chile issued an emergency notice urging Korean residents and tourists to refrain from visiting Valparaiso and Viña del Mar until the fire is extinguished.

(Photo = AP, Yonhap News)