At least 25 people are dead and 125 others are still missing in the north of Chile as flash floods across the Atacama area, home to the world’s driest desert, submerged entire towns and left thousands of people homeless. The death toll could increase further with 125 still missing, officials said. The number of missing was recently increased by 24 people following a new count by emergency officials. In addition, mudslides triggered by melting Andean snow wiped out roads and flattened buildings. The downpour which began on March 24 lashed the area for hours, turning riverbeds that had been dry for years into torrents. The government declared a state of emergency in the area and sent in troops.