Chilean authorities say the capital city and periphery are suffering from what scientists are calling a Mega Drought – a prolonged drought lasting since 2010, reports The Santiago Times.
The government has announced an agricultural emergency in numerous areas in Central Chile to accelerate several relief measures for farmers, such as providing them with drinking water and medicine for animals.
The worst drought in six decades is mostly affecting the city of Santiago, home to over 6 million people, and the regions of Coquimbo, Valparaiso and O’Higgins.
Antonio Walker, Agriculture Minister, has said that 2019 is one of the driest years the country has faced in the past six decades.
Experts believe over-exploitation by agriculture and global warming are the main reasons for the unprecedented drought that has led many farmers to go out of business.
The copper industry in Chile, the nation’s leading industry, is also raising concerns as it consumes enormous quantities of water.
Cattle are dying of thirst and boats have been left abandoned in dried-out docks.