Santiago snow
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The cold snap brought a rare opportunity to build snowmen in Santiago

Up to five centimetres come down in the city's first snowfall for decades, causing havoc in the Chilean capital.

More than 280,000 people have reportedly been left without power in Santiago after a rare blanket of snow hit the Chilean capital.

About 3-5cm of the white stuff came down on Saturday in what some reports say is the first snowfall there for 20 years.

A security guard at a medical facility died from an apparent heart attack while trying to clear snow, according to reports, while trees struck electricity lines.

And two other people - a 15-year-old girl and her grandmother - were thought to have been injured after they suffered electric shocks from a damaged cable.

The snow has also led to treacherous driving conditions.

Meanwhile, children enjoyed snowball fights and built snowmen for the first time in their lives.

One resident said: "Yes, the snow fell but also it feels like a magical atmosphere here in Bella (the Bellavista neighbourhood) and in Santiago generally. No one expected it."

Another said: "Incredible. I remember more or less in 70-something (a year in the 1970s). It was the last time that it snowed in Santiago and it looked precious, Santiago, like this.

"Look at how it's snowing, the little cakes of snow, marvellous. It is impressive."