BUENOS AIRES – Rescue teams are working to evacuate about 3,850 people trapped by mudslides in mountainous areas in Mendoza, a province in western Argentina, officials said Sunday.
The mudslides forced officials to close the Cristo Redentor tunnel, the main trans-Andean route linking Argentina and Chile, and open shelters, which have been supplied with food rations, the Mendoza provincial government said in a statement.
“Around Horcones, toward the west, there are approximately 3,500 people who are being evacuated, while 200 others are (trapped) between different mudslides; while in Puente de Inca ... 150 were evacuated,” officials said.
Officials estimate it will take at least 36 hours to clear the roads, assuming no additional mudslides occur.
“In total, as of midnight, there were 11 mudslides, 9 partial and 2 total, with large dimensions,” the Mendoza provincial government said.