BUENOS AIRES – At least 650 people were evacuated from their homes and two are missing in Argentina amid flooding caused by heavy rains on the weekend in the east-central part of the country, authorities said.
The flooding is affecting different areas in the provinces of Santa Fe, Cordoba and Buenos Aires.
In Santa Fe, the two most critical situations are those in the towns of Maria Teresa and Alvarez, in the southern part of that eastern province.
In all, some 200 people were evacuated by authorities or “self-evacuated” but “the water is going down rapidly and some families are returning to their homes,” Marcos Escajadillo, the Civil Protection secretary for Santa Fe province, told EFE.
The affected residents are receiving assistance and the forecast for the coming hours is for the weather to remain “unstable but tending to improve,” Escajadillo said.
In Buenos Aires province, some 400 people were evacuated and two are missing after the wind- and rainstorm that pounded the area on Monday morning, according to what local authorities told the official Telam news agency.
The hardest hit municipalities are Pergamino, Ramallo, Colon, Arrecifes, Rojas, Salto, San Nicolas, Florentino Ameghino and General Villegas.
In Cordoba province, the most seriously affected town is Jovita, where 50 families were evacuated, according to what officials with the provincial Social Development Ministry told EFE.
This is the third heavy rain registered in Jovita so far this month, and the provincial authorities have been providing basic goods and economic assistance to certain local residents for some time.
The situation is not “as serious,” although it is problematic, in other municipalities like Villadolores, Salsipuedes, La Granja, El Manzano, Rio Ceballos, La Cumbre, Villa Giardino and Huerta Grande, officials said.
Some of the local residents suffered the effects of a “tornado,” which knocked over trees, and the forecast for Monday is for continued unstable weather with more rain, although the precipitation is not expected to be as great as over the weekend.
Heavy flooding occurred in December and over the Christmas holiday last year in Argentina, but on that occasion the rains fell especially in the northeastern part of the country and 30,000 people had to be evacuated.