The rains might have been welcome, and pleasurable, here in Santiago, but on the coast and in the north of Chile they've brought disaster.
The Atacama desert is - normally - one of the driest places on earth, with an average annual rainfall of just 15 ml. It is so dry that wet doesn't register as a potential state of being. When we lived in Antofagasta, and we did get a few drops of rain, the interior walls of buildings would be peppered with rain-spots, because nobody noticed the cracks in the roof and the walls. (Earthquake zones do that.)
Up there in the north, even a few drops of rain can be a problem. The dry earth forms a thick layer of dust, and without plants to break down the surface rock, water doesn't soak into the ground; it sits on the top of the ground and forms a muddy slurry, and when the drops turn into a rainfall, and when they fall on a slope, the slurry gives way under its own weight and you get landslides.
In 1991, not too long before we moved there, a storm had caused a slide to come roaring through - unheralded, in the middle of the night - and taken out a whole group of houses, with the inhabitants inside.
This week the rain tracked unexpectedly north, and the heavy, southern-suitable rains are doing the same thing - gathering into a thick muddy slurry and pouring through towns. At least six people are dead across Chile, and clear skies down here in Santiago feel like a heck of a price to pay for all that.