Chilean Capital of Santiago Experiences Rare Snowfall

View of a street covered with snow in Santiago on July 15, 2017.
An unusual snowfall –the first of such intensity since 2007– surprised the inhabitants of the Chilean capital, causing a few power cuts and minor traffic jams, in particular in the eastern areas of the capital, the closest to the Andes mountain range.
Photo credit: MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images

A rare snowfall in the Chilean capital Santiago has caused disruption and blackouts, leaving thousands of residents shivering in the dark.

About 250,000 people were hit by power cuts, officials said, mostly caused by snow-laden trees falling on cables.

One death was reported – of a worker trying to clear ice – and two other people were injured by a fallen power line, Chilean media said.

Meteorologists say it was the heaviest snowfall in Santiago since 2007.

It came as the city and surrounding region were enduring an unusually cold snap.

As well as the power cuts, the weather has caused traffic disruption in the capital and several sporting fixtures have been postponed.

The big freeze was not bad news for everyone, however, and thousands of children headed outdoors to build snowmen and throw snowballs.

Forecasters say lighter amounts of snow are still expected to fall.