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State of emergency declared in flood-ravaged Argentina

Thursday, August 13, 2015 - 01:39

Buenos Aires Governor and presidential front-runner Daniel Scioli cuts short his trip to Italy to coordinate the emergency response to the capital, where flooding is in its seventh straight day. Gavino Garay reports.

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Several thousand were forced to abandon their homes, and a number of people were killed in flooding caused by heavy rainfall that has Argentina's capital city underwater. Officials say nearly a foot of rain has come down so far. The town of Salto, northwest of Buenos Aires, is one of the hardest hit areas, where locals say the flooding shows no sign of letting up. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) SALTO RESIDENT, SAYING: "The water just came up to the door with the polyurethane barrier but it entered through the iron bars and it doesn't stop." The governor of Buenos Aires and presidential front-runner, Daniel Scioli, has faced criticism over his handling of the situation. He cut short a trip to Italy for work on his prosthetic arm in order to return home to help coordinate flood response. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) GOVERNOR OF BUENOS AIRES PROVINCE AND PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL DANIEL SCIOLI, SAYING: "First of all, we obviously are facing meteorological phenomena and I'm not here to comment on them or look for excuses or anything - the contrary... What would happen if we didn't have the infrastructure in the scale that it has been built? Does it provide consolation? No, while there are victims the task remains unfinished." But residents angered by the government's reaction say promises aren't enough. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) SANFORD RESIDENT, SAYING: "We need them to listen to us, that for once they listen to us or the whole town will die." While Scioli's opponents were quick to criticize his decision to travel to Italy on Tuesday when river banks were bursting, Scioli says his goal right now is to help those in need. But for many, so far, there's little relief in sight.

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State of emergency declared in flood-ravaged Argentina

Thursday, August 13, 2015 - 01:39