Chile under Fire


first_imgBy Augusto Scarella Arce/Diálogo February 02, 2017 Chile has been ravaged by a series of wildfires since January 11th, with 142 disasters declared in different regions of the country’s center and south to date. Chile’s president, Michelle Bachelet, responded by issuing decrees declaring several states of emergency, which under the country’s constitution set in motion a set of measures aimed at overcoming the public disaster besetting a large swath of the country. From the beginning of this emergency, General Arturo Merino Núñez, director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (EMCO, per its Spanish acronym), has continuously deployed units from the Emergency Operations Center to maintain precise control and coordination of the defensive measures employed to combat the wildfires. “This effort by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, with the direct consultation of the Ministry of Defense, will remain available 24 hours a day for as long as needed,” Gen. Merino said. National response More than 8,000 members of the Armed Forces are providing emergency assistance, having fought 77 wildfires to date. Of the total wildfires, covering nearly 300,000 hectares, 51 have been brought under control and 14 have been extinguished. Almost 300 vehicles, including all types of tanker and transport equipment, have been flown to the affected areas by the Chilean Air Force. Additionally, 25 planes have been brought in by the Chilean Armed Forces, which together with 18 other government organizations are working to assist members of the National Forestry Service (CONAF, per its Spanish acronym) brigades and firefighters. The national defense is also fighting fires directly through the Army Forest Fire Reinforcement Brigades, with units that provide nationwide coverage and that enjoy autonomy in deployment and logistics. Minister of Defense José Antonio Gómez made another visit to the affected areas on January 25th, accompanied by Rear Admiral Jorge Rodriguez Urria, EMCO’s chief of Operations and Joint Administration, to coordinate the military’s actions on the ground. The minister was clear and quite specific about the aid from military institutions: “They will work night and day to restore conditions that will allow rebuilding from the destruction caused by a fire of an intensity never before seen in this country.” Partner nations step in with support On January 26th, authorities met at the airport with a group of 29 Colombian brigade members who voluntarily came to help. The United States also responded very rapidly to the difficult situation Chileans are experiencing. The U.S. Agency for International Development, through its Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) donated $100 million to the non-governmental organization Caritas Chile for the local acquisition and delivery of firefighting equipment, such as power saws and weather monitoring tools requested by the Chilean National Forestry Service. “A team from the U.S. Forestry Service and USAID/OFDA is being deployed in Chile. It is made up of emergency personnel and staff with technical expertise in fighting forest fires,” said Nicole Gallagher, spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Chile. On January 27th and 28th, fire brigade members from Mexico also arrived. There is a total of 609 firefighters from Argentina, Colombia, the United States, Panama, Peru, and Mexico, among other countries, fighting the flames with their Chilean counterparts. For its part, on January 29th, Brazil’s Air Force (FAB, per its Portuguese acronym) deployed two C-130 aircraft to support Chile in combatting the forest fires. Operated by the First Troop Transport Group, the aircraft arrived in Chile with 28 service members on board. “The crew follows the guidelines provided by ONEMI [Chilean Ministry of Interior’s National Office for Emergency], and the CONAF [National Forestry Corporation], who are responsible for coordinating the international aid, and it will be distributed to the place they will operate from,” explained FAB Colonel Paulo Cesar Andari, military attaché for the Brazilian Air Force in Chile, according to information from FAB. Likewise, the Peruvian Air Force transported 55 firefighters from the Civil Defense Institute and a 212 Bell helicopter aboard an L-100-20 Hercules and a C-27J Spartan aircraft from the Eighth Air Group, to help Chile fight the forest fires, according to information from defense news website Defensa.com.last_img read more

West Ham winger Michail Antonio grabs rare chance to impress against Stoke


first_img The winger had made just a handful of substitute appearances for the Hammers since his £7million summer switch from Nottingham Forest. Even co-chairman David Gold appeared to have forgotten about Antonio, mistakenly retweeting a picture of him after an internet prankster appealed for information on a ‘missing friend’. “We hit the post with Mauro Zarate as well, so we definitely have the attacking threat, it’s just putting it in the back of the net.” Zarate rattled the post with 10 minutes remaining, shortly after Stoke’s Marko Arnautovic was denied by the woodwork with a deflected free-kick. City were without injured playmaker Xherdan Shaqiri but boss Mark Hughes hopes he will be fit to face Crystal Palace next weekend. “He’s had a little bit of discomfort in his hamstring for a couple of weeks now, and a scan showed a bit of damage at the bottom of his hamstring,” said Hughes. “So we erred on the side of safety, we have a busy period coming up and we felt if he misses one game then hopefully he he will be okay for next week.” Press Association But amidst an injury crisis at Upton Park, Antonio was handed his first start against Stoke and grabbed his opportunity with an all-action display in the goalless draw. “Michail did really well,” said manager Slaven Bilic. “He worked hard and has been waiting for his chance. Now he has got it and he used it really well. “Sometimes it is hard for a player to come in and take their chance when they get it. But he did exactly that and I am really pleased for him.” Antonio went close to claiming all three points for West Ham but his second-half volley was beaten away by City keeper Jack Butland. With Victor Moses ruled out for around six weeks with the hamstring injury he suffered against Manchester United, Antonio is likely to feature heavily over the Christmas period. “It felt unbelievable to get a chance,” he told the club website. “This was my boyhood dream to play in the Premier League and I’ve managed that. “Playing at Old Trafford last week set me up well for this game. It showed me the levels of the league and it was a good 50 minutes. He added: “They have been 0-0 draws, but they haven’t been 0-0 games. Against Man United we had quite a few opportunities, and in this game I had quite a few opportunities. Michail Antonio shook off his ‘missing man’ tag as he finally got a chance to impress for West Ham on Saturday.last_img read more

Premier League action tonight


first_imgA win at home to would keep alive the Reds hopes of claiming one of the European spots.In the nights other action Manchester United welcome Crystal Palace and West Ham take on Watford.Meanwhile Manchester City’s draw last night mean that Leicester will finish inside the top 3 and go straight into the group stage of the Champions league next season.last_img