"Situation is worse than ever."

That's the account of one Northlander stuck in the middle of deadly riots in Santiago, Chile which have left three people dead.

Craig Nordstrand, coach at the Miyagi Kan karate club in Whangārei, left New Zealand on Friday with students D'Artagnan Gould, 15, and Kingiteahuahu Tana, 14, to compete in the World Junior Karate Championships due to start on Wednesday.

The three Northlanders (from left) Craig Nordstrand, Kingiteahuahu Tana and D'Artagnan Gould are at the centre of deadly riots in Chile ahead of their karate competition on Wednesday. Photo / File
The three Northlanders (from left) Craig Nordstrand, Kingiteahuahu Tana and D'Artagnan Gould are at the centre of deadly riots in Chile ahead of their karate competition on Wednesday. Photo / File

However, the group arrived to scenes of protest after many young people were left outraged on Friday by increases to public transport costs. The BBC reported Chile president Sebastian Pinera declared a state of emergency when many protesters, many of them high school and university students, jumped turnstiles, attacked several underground stations, started fires and blocked traffic, leaving widespread damage across the city and thousands of commuters without transport.

Advertisement
A protester returns a tear gas canister to police during clashes in Santiago, Chile. Photo / AP
A protester returns a tear gas canister to police during clashes in Santiago, Chile. Photo / AP

Nordstrand, 62, posted a message along with a video of a protest to his Facebook page about a day ago, saying the situation was worse than ever.

"We cannot get back to our hotel from where the team is staying. All roads are closed and the city is in shutdown as riots continue to escalate," he wrote.

"Buildings and cars are burning. The army are present now with a curfew at 9pm in place. Not able to go anywhere.

Demonstrators build a burning barricade during a protest in Santiago, Chile. Photo / AP
Demonstrators build a burning barricade during a protest in Santiago, Chile. Photo / AP

"So dangerous outside. All shops are closed restaurants and bars. There are fears this could have a major affect on the tournament now.

"This is a shock for all of us. So violent outside. All the news on TV here is non-stop showing the disaster that's taking place. We are safe in the team hotel but my medication is stuck in my hotel. Not good."

Workers clean up a looted supermarket in Santiago. Photo / AP
Workers clean up a looted supermarket in Santiago. Photo / AP

The Northern Advocate understands Nordstrand has since recovered his medication and the Northland group is still safe inside their hotel.