Massive storm hits Argentina, 2,000 evacuated

The southwestern province of Neuquen suffers the brunt of the storm.

Massive storm hits Argentina, 2,000 evacuated

World Bulletin / News Desk

A massive storm hit Argentina over the weekend and Monday, causing flooding and evacuations of more than 2,000 people across the country.

The provinces of Catamarca in the northwest and Neuquen in the southwest took the brunt of the storm, Maria Rodriguez, the national minister of security, said in a statement.

The federal government has deployed national forces, trucks, communications equipment and supplies of food, beverages and medicine to help evacuees and local governments.

Evacuees totaled more than 2,000 people, Buenos Aires-based newspaper Clarin reported, citing data from different provinces.

Some 1,300 people were evacuated in Neuquen alone, Vice Governor Ana Pechen told reporters Monday, according to Neuquen-based newspaper La Mañana Neuquen. “This number is going to keep rising,” she said.

The National Weather Service said that more than 204 millimeters (8 inches) of rain fell since Wednesday in the city of Neuquen, the provincial capital, with the heaviest showers falling Sunday and Monday. That’s more than the annual rainfall for the city in a typical year.

It was the largest storm to hit Neuquen since 1975, when heavy rainfall and flooding led to the death of an estimated 20 people, La Mañana Neuquen reported.

Photos in Buenos Aires newspaper La Nacion show a truck engulfed in mud, water running into homes, people wading across flooded streets, cars driving through two feet of water and cars stuck in water-gouged ruts on dirt roads.

Rains were expected to ease up Monday, yet winds could reach up to 70 km (43.5 miles) per hour in Neuquen, according to the National Weather Service.

Neuquen province suspended schools and public transport and told public workers to stay home, Pechen said.

Last Mod: 08 Nisan 2014, 09:56
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