Heavy rains continue in the Atacama Desert (Antofagasta region) as of Sunday, February 10. Officials declared a state of natural emergency in El Loa province of Antofagasta region on Saturday, February 9, where daily rainfalls have exceeded average annual precipitations by over 300 percent. According to weather officials, further heavy rains, along with possible flash flooding and landslides, are possible in the area in the coming days. Transportation disruptions (e.g. blocked roads, damaged infrastructure, etc.) are expected to continue in affected areas over the near term.
Individuals in affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities (notably evacuation orders), and to anticipate weather-related transportation disruptions. Remember that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater or chemical products; all items having come into contact with the water should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded.
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