Destructive earthquakes in the Iquique region of Chile have caused tragic losses of life and substantial physical damage, presenting complications for the 2015 Dakar Rally for which Iquique is a logistical keystone.
The race normally proceeds through the Chilean cities of Copiapo, Antofagasta, Iquique and Calama, with a particularly big bash planned in Iquique this year to punctuate the event.
Organizers are still confident they'll be able to carry on through Chile as planned, but approval hangs in the balance with the nation's government.
The 2015 Dakar Rally route is presently locked in as follows:
• 4/01: Buenos Aires - Villa Carlos Paz
• 5/01: Villa Carlos Paz - San Juan
• 6/01: San Juan - Chilecito
• 7/01: Chilecito - Copiapo *
• 8/01: Copiapo - Antofagasta *
• 9/01: Antofagasta - Iquique *
• 10/01: Rest (cars/trucks); Iquique - Uyuni (bikes-quads)
• 11/01: Iquique - Uyuni (cars/trucks); Uyuni - Iquique (bikes-quads)
• 12/01: Rest (bikes-quads); Uyuni - Iquique (cars-trucks)
• 13/01: Iquique - Calama *
• 14/01: Calama - Salta
• 15/01: Salta - Termas de Rio Hondo
• 16/01: Termas de Rio Hondo - Rosario
• 17/01: Rosario – Buenos Aires
*Pending confirmation by the Chilean authorities.