BUENOS AIRES – About 1,000 people were evacuated in the northern Argentine province of Jujuy after intense rains caused a mudslide that killed two women and injured at least five other people, Argentine Red Cross officials told EFE on Wednesday.
The town of Volcan and Tumbaya were the communities most heavily affected by the mudslide caused by a downpour on Tuesday. Two stretches of Highway 9, one of the main roads through the region, were washed out.
The two women were found Tuesday inside a vehicle that had overturned and on Wednesday Red Cross authorities confirmed to EFE that five people were injured in assorted incidents in the area.
The landslide also affected the Dakar road race, which had to suspend its ninth phase and adjust its route because of poor weather conditions and the cutting of Highway 9. A detour of some 200 kilometers (125 miles) had to be implemented for the majority of the vehicles in the competition.
The evacuated people “are being transported to five ... centers, two in San Salvador de Jujuy and three in Volcan,” Argentine Red Cross communications director Natalia Gennero told EFE.
Despite the fact that the weather situation has improved, it is not known when local residents will be allowed to return to their homes.
“Eighty percent of the population of Volcan has between 50-80 cm (20-31 in.) of mud in their homes,” Gennero said.
Meanwhile, Gennero said that cleanup crews were working in the area and waiting for the homes to dry out and for machinery to be able to clear Highway 9.
On Tuesday, heavy flooding occurred in the region and the water reached 1.2 meters (4 feet) deep in the town of Tumbaya, the Red Cross said in a statement.