Medfly found in northern Chile
Chile's Agriculture and Livestock Service (SAG) has declared a fruit fly outbreak in La Serena, capital of the Coquimbo region, and has undertaken "immediate action" to prevent the pest's spread to new areas.
The authority has installed traps within a radius of 7.2km from the detection site, and will be taking fruit samples and fumigating houses near any point where the fly is found.
SAG regional director Jorge Fernández said early detection had been possible thanks to constant fruit fly monitoring, however the agency would need support from all citizens because "this outbreak has probably arisen due to infested fruit coming in from outside the country".
"What we want to reiterate is to call on people to not come into Chile with products that are not authorized by SAG," he said, adding the detection was made near the La Serena bus terminal.
"Currently our officials are visiting the sector that includes fruit fly control zone for the installation of traps and to withdraw fruit if necessary."
Regional government agricultural representative Diego Peralta said a meetings had been held with various parties that could be affected by the situation, such as the Chilean Fruit Expoerters Association (ASOEX) and the Port of Coquimbo.
"We want to make a call for calm, since this capture happened in an urban sector, so we are implementing the necessary actions to avoid this pest from reaching growers," he said.
Photo: Daniel Feliciano, via Wikimedia Creative Commons