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ARGENTINA | 19-12-2023 16:49

Río de la Plata storm surge affects cities: floods, evacuations and alert

Southeast storm alert on River Plate: the water level could reach 3.6 metres. Coastal areas are best avoided. Quilmes, Ensenada, Tigre and San Fernando are some of the most affected cities by the rise of the Southeast storm.

The rise of the River Plate caused floods on Monday evening in such cities as Quilmes, Ensenada, Tigre and San Fernando, where Buenos Aires Province volunteer firefighters were coordinating actions with civil defence forces of various districts.

The national Defence Ministry established a preventive deployment given the alert issued by the SMN National Meteorological Service.

On Monday evening, the River Plate was experiencing a rise which could reach over two metres above tide charts, according to the Rise Prevention Centre of the SHN Naval Hydrography Service, a part of the Ministry of Defence.

The latter service issued a Southeast storm alert on the River Plate for Monday evening and early morning on Tuesday. The water level could reach 3.6 metres, two metres above normal values, since above 2.5 metres there can be water in the streets.

This is because strong southeastern winds are expected which, according to the SMN’s forecast, might surpass 50 kilometres per hour.

The rise will affect some areas of Buenos Aires City, together with the North and South coast of Greater Buenos Aires. The population is urged to take precautions and avoid coastal areas.

In Quilmes, the water reached the coast of the district and was rising in the evening, while electricity company Edesur decided to conduct a preventive power cut there.

The city of Ensenada, together with the Buenos Aires Province Police, launched an operation to prevent complications given the rise of the River Plate.

“An operation was conducted all along the coast of Punta Lara with policemen and firefighters, requesting the population not to go by the coast," they informed.

Buenos Aires Province Civil Defence sources, in turn, informed that Tigre and San Fernando had also been flooded, and that “from the provincial government we have communicated with municipalities to make ourselves available and cooperate with whatever they need and require. It will be a big rise”.

They added that “the system of volunteer firefighters is working in each city, coordinating actions with municipal civil defence forces."

In this context, the Defence minister, Luis Petri, established a preventive deployment to support the community to “mitigate the potential consequences of floods,” and ordered “the preparation of military units in the metropolitan area."

Given the Southeast storm alert, the population is urged to take the following precautions:

  • Avoid coastal areas.
  • Remove objects which may be dragged by the water.
  • Stay up-to-date on the weather forecast.

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