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Deadly fire rages through Chile’s Valparaiso

A fire rages in the Chilean city of Valparaiso on Saturday, April 12. The blaze began in a forested ravine next to ramshackle housing on one of Valparaiso's 42 hilltops, and spread quickly.

Alberto Miranda / AFP

People watch as a forest fire rages towards urban areas in Valparaiso on Sunday, April 13.

Luis Hidalgo / AP

A person tries to extinguish flames as sparks fly early on Sunday. Electricity failed as the fire grew, turning the night sky orange and reducing neighborhoods on six hilltops to ashes.

Luis Hidalgo / AP

Destroyed houses are seen where a forest fire burned several neighborhoods on Sunday. At least 12 people were killed and 2,000 houses destroyed over the weekend, as authorities sent in aircraft to battle the blaze.

Stringer/chile / X01494

View of an area ravaged by fire on Sunday.

Martin Bernetti / AFP

A woman sprays water on the roof of her home at Ramaditas Hill in Valparaiso on Sunday. President Michelle Bachelet, who traveled to Valparaiso to assess the situation on the ground, said the number of deaths might rise. About 10,000 people had fled their homes, she told a press conference.

Felipe Trueba / EFE

A resident carries an injured dog in Valparaiso on Sunday. President Bachelet declared the entire city a catastrophe zone and put the military in charge of maintaining order.

Eliseo Fernandez / X01761

Firefighters try to extinguish a blaze in Valparaiso on Sunday. Fires they thought were contained 24 hours after they started Saturday kicked up again with Sunday afternoon's winds and raged out of control, threatening more neighborhoods.

Martin Bernetti / AFP

Families flee their homes after the fire reactivated on Sunday. Most of Valparaiso's 250,000 people live in the hills, and the city owes its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site to their colorful homes, built on slopes so steep that many people commute using staircases and cable cars.

Martin Bernetti / AFP

Firefighters work to put out a fire in Valparaiso on Sunday. With no municipal water or fire hydrants to use, routes to the blazes blocked by narrow streets jammed with abandoned vehicles and countless embers being stoked, fire crews could do little but watch some neighborhoods burn.

-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Eliseo Fernandez / X01761