BUENOS AIRES – The number of deaths from the cold wave devastating Argentina reached 11 when two people died in the northwestern province of La Rioja.
The snowstorms and heavy rains Monday caused flight delays and cancellations for the second straight day at the Buenos Aires airport, where hundreds of passengers were left stranded.
Meanwhile, health-services officials said Monday that an elderly woman and a baby died Sunday of hypothermia in La Rioja, capital of the like-named province.
Heavy snowfall affected flights to Bariloche, Esquel and Ushuaia, among other winter vacation spots in Argentine Patagonia.
In addition, torrential rains have delayed flights to several cities in the northern and northwestern parts of the country, such as Puerto Iguazu, near Iguazu Falls, officials at Jorge Newbery Airport in Buenos Aires said.
A total of 51 flights to and from Buenos Aires were delayed or suspended this Sunday because of bad weather conditions, the officials said.
The charitable group Solidarity Network told Efe on Sunday that so far this winter another 33 people, 11 of them minors, have died from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by the faulty combustion in heating systems.
The network’s founder, Juan Carr, said that every year in Argentina between 80 and 100 people die from hypothermia or from breathing in carbon monoxide.
In Buenos Aires “some 1,400 people sleep on the streets and in all Argentina the people in that situation add up to about 20,000, with 60 percent of them men between 35 and 55 years of age,” he said. EFE