A driver was lucky to escape alive after his car was overturned by a giant wave in Chile, as a raging storm battered the Pacific coast.

As the video shows, the emergency vehicle, which belonged to the Chilean government, was driving along Chile’s coastal resort town of Vina del Mar when it was suddenly hit and toppled over by a massive wave.

The driver managed to open the door and passersby promptly rushed to help the passengers out of the vehicle.

Waves to reached up to 16ft (5 metres) high due to the powerful El Nino storm that hit the Pacific Coast. They were reported to be the biggest in the region since 2013.

The severe storm has also caused flooding in some parts of the country, having reached its peak just before midnight on Sunday.

Some areas have been closed off to vehicles and residents have been warned to stay away from beaches until the weather eases.

What is El Nino?

El Nino occurs every two to seven years along the Pacific coast. Usually, equatorial currents and trade winds move warm waters westwards, however, with El Nino, currents across the Pacific switch, sending warm waters eastwards. This drags precipitation eastwards too, resulting in droughts in some countries and heavy rains in others.