Rainstorms and landslides have contaminated a major river forcing the authorities to cut off drinking water to at least four million people in Chile, South America.
Officials said the water supply from the Maipo river would be cut to most of the city until the water flowed clear.
At least three people have been killed and 19 are missing as rivers overflowed and bridges were washed away.
Some homes were filled with sludge as rivers overflowed.
Regional governor Claudio Orrego said weather conditions in the mountains near Santiago, the capital of Chile, remained “very bad”.
“We had many landslides in a very short space of time,” he said.
Some shops have run out of bottled water and a number of supermarkets reported scuffles between people eager to stock up.
Restaurants and businesses in the affected areas were ordered to stay closed and schools were also told to delay the start of the school year, scheduled for Monday.
The flooding follows months of drought and a series of deadly wildfires which burned for weeks.