Chile turns chilly as Santiago hit by rare heavy snowfall

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Media caption,

Rare snowfall blankets Santiago

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.

Image source, EPA
Image caption,
City authorities are advising residents to avoid travelling if possible
Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The cold snap brought a rare opportunity to build snowmen in Santiago