The BBC is reporting that, after a heavy storm’s flash floods killed 54 people in both La Plata and the capital city of Buenos Aires, the Argentinean government declared three days of mourning throughout the country. About 16 inches of rain were recorded in La Plata between Tuesday and Wednesday, with nearly six inches hitting Buenos Aires earlier. The devastation has displaced thousands, including President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s mother. Many in the affected areas have begun looting, and there is fear that it will continue.
The BBC writes:
Residents have described spending nights on rooftops to escape the deluge while the coastguard used boats to help people who were stranded.
[Provincial governor Daniel] Scioli said that many of those who died in La Plata were drowned or electrocuted after taking shelter in their cars in the suburb of Tolosa.
“We are giving priority to rescuing people who have been stuck in trees or on the roofs of their homes,” he added.
The city’s oil refinery was flooded and then had to close due to a fire. YPF, the company which runs the facility, said “an extraordinary accumulation of rainwater and power outages in the entire refinery complex” caused the fire.
Read more at BBC.
This news brief was written by Kaitlin Higgins, editorial assistant for The Burton Wire.