In Argentina, a storm kills thirteen people and causes much destruction

A violent storm with heavy rain and winds gusting up to 150 km/h killed at least 13 people and caused widespread destruction in several cities in central Argentina over the weekend, including in the capital, according to authorities

In Argentina, a storm kills thirteen people and causes much destruction

A violent storm with heavy rain and winds gusting up to 150 km/h killed at least 13 people and caused widespread destruction in several cities in central Argentina over the weekend, including in the capital, according to authorities.

The most serious episode occurred in the port city of Bahia Blanca (600 kilometers southwest of Buenos Aires), where the storm caused the roof of a sports club to collapse on Saturday, killing 13 people. and 14 seriously injured, according to the municipality.

The victims were surprised by the storm while a competition was taking place at the Bahiense del Norte club, where former world basketball star Manu Ginobili trains. “[I’m] very sad for what my club, my city and the region are going through,” the athlete said on social media. A large part of the city was left without power and suffered significant damage.

President Javier Milei expressed “his deepest condolences” to the victims, and his cabinet reported that the government was “monitoring the delicate situation generated” by the storm that hit the province of Buenos Aires, with winds “exceeding 150 km /h”. “The government is working with provincial and municipal authorities to help the victims and limit the damage,” the presidential office said.

Damage in Buenos Aires

The National Meteorological Service decreed an “orange” alert in the provinces of Buenos Aires, Entre Rios, Cordoba and Santa Fe (Central-East), with precipitation of up to 130 mm, a “yellow” alert for six other provinces and he foresaw the advance of storms towards the north. The winds were generated by “a large mass of warm and humid air activated by the passage of a cold front”, but without a specific link with the current El Niño phenomenon, explained to Agence France-Presse (AFP ) meteorologist Leo DeBenedictis.

The city of Buenos Aires suffered winds of nearly 100 km/h, heavy rain and power outages early Sunday morning, Mayor Jorge Macri described. The capital woke up to 360 trees on the ground, which destroyed vehicles, cut cables, brought down public lights and disrupted traffic. The city's emergency services worked hard to restore some semblance of normalcy.

In the Palermo district, at least three people were injured in the early hours of the morning while attending a concert where the stage collapsed, according to organizers. Thirteen other people were injured at the Palermo racetrack, the SAME emergency service reported.

Some suburbs of the capital were also hit by the storm, with rainfall reaching 40 mm in a few hours, a third of the historical average for the month of December, the National Weather Service noted. The town of San Isidro, 20 kilometers north of Buenos Aires, was partially isolated by falling trees, AFP noted.