Argentina Flood Death Toll Continues to Rise

Yahoo Contributor Network

In what is being called the largest weather-related disaster in the history of Buenos Aires province, torrential flooding over the past few days has created havoc and resulted in great loss of life. According to the Associated Press , several days of rain has flooded the Buenos Aires province capital city of La Plata, leaving large areas of that city underwater.

* The death toll due to the flooding is at 31 with at least 25 killed overnight in La Plata after another 16 inches of rain fell in about two hours' time.

* Most of the overnight deaths were of people who tried to take refuge in their vehicles in Tolosa, an area of La Plata.

* Buenos Aires province Gov. Daniel Scioli stated that the sudden onslaught of rain caught many people unprepared, leaving them trapped and attempting to take shelter in vehicles, trees, on top of houses. He said that some of the deaths were because of electrocution.

* Scioli stated that rescue workers are currently trying to help people who have been trapped in trees or on the roofs of their homes.

* More than 2,500 people have been evacuated from La Plata, but that number is expected go up quickly.

* Power is out all over La Plata and several areas of the city were reportedly under 6 feet of water.

* The rain resulted in the death of six people in the Argentine capital city of Buenos Aires on the previous day and left widespread power failures and flooding in the area.

* According to the BBC , the city of Buenos Aires was flooded after being hit with rain for seven hours. The Mayor of Buenos Aires reported that approximately 350,000 people in that city had been affected by the torrential rainfall.

* The BBC reported that one of the deaths from the flooding in La Plata and the city of Buenos Aires was a city worker who was electrocuted while trying to pump water from a flooded underground station.

* The AP reported that the country's largest refinery was flooded, resulting in a fire. Operations at the refinery have been suspended following the flood and subsequent fire. It took emergency workers hours to put out the refinery fire. There were no reported injuries due to the fire at the refinery.

* City authorities from Buenos Aires stated that this rain incident was the heaviest April rainfall to hit the area in 100 years.

Tammy Lee Morris is certified as a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member and is a trained Skywarn Storm Spotter through the National Weather Service. She has received interpretive training regarding the New Madrid Seismic Zone through EarthScope -- a program of the National Science Foundation. She researches and writes about emergency preparedness, earthquakes, volcanoes, tornadoes, weather and other natural phenomena.

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