Thunderstorms and flash floods moved into the usually bone-dry Atacama desert, causing the Copiapo River to overflow its banks.
Fears of mudslides prompted authorities to evacuate thousands from their homes, many of which are mining communities situated in narrow valleys that cross the desert.
RT reports: Dramatic footage of cars, trucks and whole buildings being washed away in muddy water has emerged online after thunderstorms and abnormal rainfall in Chile’s desert Atacama region caused the Copiapo River to break its banks last week.
At least 25 people were killed and 125 others are missing as the floods ravaged the area known as one of the driest places on Earth.
The authorities evacuated thousands from their homes in what was described as “the worst rain disaster to fall on the north [of Chile] in 80 years.”
About 2,700 people are currently being housed in emergency accommodation, with around 30,000 people affected by the disaster, the National Emergency Office said.