SANTIAGO ( Associated Press) – About 260 trucks were still stranded on Sunday at the Libertadores crossing, on the border between Chile and Argentina, which was affected by heavy rains and snowfall in recent hours, while the occupants of vehicles and buses were transferred to shelters, said authorities.
The provincial presidential delegate in that area, Cristian Aravena Reyes, said on his Twitter account that some of the truck drivers remain in their vehicles of their own free will, but that they are constantly monitored and are in good health.
He indicated that the road will continue to operate from the night to reopen the lanes as weather conditions allow. He added that they are in permanent contact with the Argentine authorities.
The director of Chile’s National Emergency Office (ONEMI), Ricardo Toro, detailed on Sunday that there were 180 trucks stranded in a sector of the border crossing and another 80 in the tunnel, and about 400 people housed in shelters were reported, “all They are in good condition,” he said.
“At the moment, the highway is working with machinery to make the route viable and it is estimated that it will start” Monday at noon, when the frontal system that affects the country is expected to begin to decline.
The situation remained complex for those who tried to cross the border in high mountains and were affected by rain, snow and low temperatures, and two accidents on the way, one on the Chilean side and the other on the Argentine side, which occurred on Saturday afternoon, said the Chilean Minister of the Interior, Izkia Siches, who in turn announced the opening of an investigation to verify whether the decision to temporarily open the border crossing had been correct, knowing that a frontal system was to come.
“From the Ministry of the Interior we have already instructed an investigation to clarify the information that was in view and if it only responded to incidents that could not be foreseen or finally there is information or there was some action that could be improved”, said Siches.
Earlier in the day, truck drivers reported to local media that there were people out of fuel and with frozen water, due to the low temperatures in that region of the country, and videos circulated on social media showing the situation in Chile. -Argentine border.
However, the authorities insisted that for the moment everything is under control and that work continues to resolve the situation.
“This morning (Sunday) a register was made of all the people who decided to stay in their vehicles and are in good health”, underlined Aravena Reyes.
The frontal system in Chile left 35,000 people in the country without electricity (against more than 120,000 the day before) and more than 6,000 people isolated in various regions of the country, according to the authorities’ report.