BUENOS AIRES – Three people were killed and about 3,600 others were evacuated in the northern part of Argentina’s Buenos Aires province due to flooding that damaged some of the area’s historical heritage, officials said Monday.
In the Buenos Aires town of San Antonio de Areco, the so-called “birthplace of the gaucho” culture in Argentina, at some 120 kilometers (75 miles) from the federal capital, a 14-year-old girl drowned and some 3,000 people had to be evacuated due to the heavy downpours and flooding from the river running through the city, which was facing a “catastrophic” situation, Buenos Aires Gov. Daniel Scioli said.
The teenage girl went missing Friday when the San Antonio de Areco River was already overflowing.
In nearby Pergamino, a 10-year-old boy and a 19-year-old man also drowned when they were swept away by a stream and several families were evacuated, while in Salto some 300 people had to leave their homes, as also happened to some 250 residents of Arrecifes.
Floodwater also damaged furniture and documents kept in the historical Ricardo Guiraldes Museum in Carmen de Areco, which has made that city symbolic of the gaucho tradition, and a Civil Defense unit had to enter by canoe to try and save some of the 19th century items stored there.
The floods also submerged stretches of Highways 8 and 9 connecting Buenos Aires with the provinces of Cordoba and Santa Fe, respectively.
The weather service on Monday declared an alert in the northern, central and southeastern sectors of Argentina’s biggest province.
The Buenos Aires government was to present Monday a judicial complaint calling for an investigation into whether the floods in Carmen de Areco were caused by farmers who, according to Scioli, built without official permission the canals that caused the river to overflow. EFE