The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – This morning, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, sent a message of solidarity to the Republic of Chile, for the fire that happened Saturday and claimed the lives of at least 12 people and hundreds injured in the area of Valparaiso.

“Costa Rica is dismayed and at the same time expresses solidarity with the families of victims and hopes for an early return of normalcy from this painful tragedy,” said their statement which was posted on their website.

Minister Enrique Castillo joined that message and said that he regretted the loss of life and property damage.

“The Foreign Ministry’s own name and the government of the Costa Rica expresses its condolences to the government and the people of Chile for the disaster. We recently attended the inauguratal of President Bachelet. Unfortunately since then there has been much human and material loss,” said the chief.

Castillo said that Chile is a country that knows how to overcome natural disasters, as it did recently with the earthquake of April 1.

“We know that Chile has many strengths in responding to natural disasters, as they also recently suffered a strong earthquake but Costa Rica has orders to help in what can be done and what is required to alleviate the damage and pain of the victims,” said Castillo.

So far, the Embassy of Costa Rica in Chile has no reports of Costa Ricans who have been affected by the fire.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has declared a state of emergency and a disaster areas for Valparaíso, which came under the control of the military, to guarantee order and security and to support the evacuation.

The fire started as a forest fire in the area but strong winds and topographical characteristics caused the fire to spread to the populated areas of the hills in La Cruz, El Vergel, San Roque, Las Cañas and Mariposas.

The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

San Jose, Costa Rica