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Flooding from torrential rains kills 52 in Argentina

A man pushes a bike through a flooded street Wednesday in La Plata, Argentina. At least 46 people died Wednesday in and around La Plata, about 37 miles southeast of Buenos Aires.  

Associated Press

A man pushes a bike through a flooded street Wednesday in La Plata, Argentina. At least 46 people died Wednesday in and around La Plata, about 37 miles southeast of Buenos Aires. 

LA PLATA, Argentina — At least 52 people drowned in their homes and cars, were electrocuted or died in other accidents as flooding from days of torrential rains swamped Argentina's low-lying capital and province of Buenos Aires.

At least 46 died Wednesday in and around the city of La Plata, Gov. Daniel Scioli said. Six deaths were reported a day earlier in the nation's capital.

Many people climbed onto their roofs in the pouring rain after storm sewers backed up. Water surged up through drains in their kitchen and bathroom floors and then poured in over their windowsills.

"It started to rain really hard in the evening and began to flood," said Augustina Garcia Orsi, a 25-year-old student. "I panicked. In two seconds, I was up to my knees in water. It came up through the drains — I couldn't do anything."

The heaviest rain — almost 16 inches in just a few hours, beating historical records for the entire month of April — hit provincial La Plata overnight. A day earlier, the capital of Buenos Aires was hit hardest.

About 4 more inches of rain was expected before the bad weather passes today, the national weather service said.

At least 2,500 people were evacuated from their homes to about 20 centers in the La Plata area, which is about 37 miles southeast of Argentina's capital.

Officials estimated that 280,000 people remained without power across the city and surrounding province of Buenos Aires, where most Argentines live.

Flooding from torrential rains kills 52 in Argentina 04/03/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 10:33pm]
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