Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Heavy flooding in Argentina's Buenos Aires province, President declares ...




Heavy flooding in Argentina's Buenos Aires province left one person dead and many houses destroyed on Tuesday (January 17), as President Mauricio Macri declared a state of emergency in all flooded areas in the country. According to local media, one man was dragged by the water and died in the town of Villa Hermosa. Residents of the town of La Emilia reported that water had reached above two metres (6.56 feet) high in their homes."We have to pay taxes here. Everyone here pays their taxes. We make the payments and this is what we get. This was formalised by the government (as a residential area), and look what has happened," said one resident, whose house was submerged under water. President Macri expressed his solidarity with the victims of the flooding nationwide, and called for solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change.

"We have mobilised the emergency committee including the army forces and security forces, the ministry of social development, such that they can try to work together with the police departments and governors. Climate change keeps making us pay, and clearly what we have to try to do is, as far as possible, be present and find palliative solutions," said Macri. Heavy rains have thrashed Argentina for several weeks. The most affected regions are the north of the province of Buenos Aires, the central and southern portions of Santa Fe and the southeast of the province of Cordoba, which make up the agricultural region of Argentina.

Between 60 and 80 cm (23.62 and 31.49 inches) of rain fell throughout the course of four weekends in some areas, an amount which authorities said would be usual for the course of one year. According to local media reports, the fertile Argentine pampas plain has suffered at least 800 millions of dollars in losses for its two main crops. Argentina is the main world exporter of soybean oil and flour. About one million hectares are now underwater, according to local media.

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