Argentina flash floods claim more lives

Hundreds of government workers are distributing water, food supplies and clothing

Related Stories

Catastrophic flash floods have killed 57 people in the province of Buenos Aires, while hundreds more remain homeless, officials say.

The worst hit is the city of La Plata, where 51 people died. Six people also died in the capital Buenos Aires.

Many victims drowned as they tried to scramble to safety on rooftops and treetops and some were electrocuted.

The government declared three days of national mourning after what it called "an unprecedented catastrophe".

Some 100,000 households were destroyed by the floods, La Plata mayor Pablo Bruera said.

Although the torrential rains have stopped and the waters completely receded, power lines are yet to be restored.

Hundreds of government workers are distributing water, food supplies and clothing at dozens of shelters across the province.

Homes canvassed

Rescue workers canvassed 5,940 homes in La Plata "without any new fatal victims found", Buenos Aires province governor Daniel Scioli confirmed.

Officials had said on Thursday they were still looking for about 20 missing people.

BBC map

Mobile hospitals have been opened and hepatitis shots are being administered at evacuation centres.

So far more than 40 of the victims in La Plata, about 60km (40 miles) south of the capital, have been identified.

Provincial officials said 40cm (16in) of rain fell on La Plata in the space of two hours late on Tuesday night.

Earlier, the storm dumped 15cm of rainfall on the capital, Buenos Aires.

"We've never seen anything like it," said provincial governor Daniel Scioli.

"People were taken by surprise, and some didn't have time to escape this deadly trap."

More than 3,000 people had to leave their homes and 80,000 lost electricity, with two of La Plata's hospitals also affected by the power cuts.

Some of La Plata's residents set up roadblocks to protect their neighbourhoods from looters.

On Wednesday, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner visited Tolosa, the worst-hit area of La Plata, where she grew up and where her mother still lives.

Ms Fernandez acknowledged residents' fears and promised to increase security.

Before her arrival, dozens of people had looted a supermarket. Three police officers were injured in scuffles with people trying to break into two other supermarkets.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Latin America & Caribbean stories


Features & Analysis

  • Stained glass of man with swordFrance 1 England 0

    The most important battle you have probably never heard of

  • Golden retriever10 things

    Dogs get jealous, and nine more nuggets from the week's news

  • Pro-Israel demonstrators shout slogans while protesting in Berlin - 25 July 2014Holocaust guilt

    Gaza conflict leaves Germans confused over who to support

  • The emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-SabahFreedoms fear

    Growing concern for rights as Kuwait revokes citizenships

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • CastleRoyal real estate

    No longer reserved for kings and queens, some find living in a castle simply divine


  • A robot which is due to compete in the 2014 RoboCupClick Watch

    Why robots from 45 countries are playing football in Brazil, plus other technology news

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.