Fourteen killed in Argentina as storm brings 150km/h winds

A red car seen crushed by a tree following a storm in eastern Argentina
Image caption,A car wrecked by the storm in Buenos Aires province

By Christy Cooney

BBC News

Fourteen people have been killed after a storm brought heavy rain and winds of 150km/h (93mph) to eastern Argentina.

The storm hit the port city of Bahia Blanca, around 570km (355 miles) south of Buenos Aires, on Saturday, damaging buildings and causing power outages before moving towards the capital on Sunday.

It comes just a week after new president Javier Milei assumed office.

Another two people were killed in neighbouring Uruguay.

Officials said that, after landing in Bahia Blanca, the storm caused part of the roof of a sports centre to collapse during a roller skating competition, killing 13 people.

A further 14 people were injured, and firefighters at the scene had to work to free people trapped beneath the rubble.

An orange weather alert, indicating a threat to life and property, was in force in parts of Buenos Aires province on Saturday night.

Another woman was killed in the town of Moreno, a suburb of the city, when she was hit by a falling tree branch early on Sunday.

Footage published by local media and reportedly shot at the Aeroparque airport near Buenos Aires showed a parked plane being buffeted around by the winds.

A set of boarding stairs could also be seen being blown across a runway and crashing into a luggage carrier.

Clorrie Yeomans, 25, who is visiting Argentina from the UK, described being woken up in her apartment in central Buenos Aires at around 03:00 local time (06:00 GMT).

“I heard the loudest wind I’ve ever heard in my life. Then I heard car alarms and a crash outside,” she said.

“It felt like a hurricane. I thought the building was moving. I went and sat in the bathroom on the other side of the apartment because I was scared a tree was going to collapse onto my balcony.”

The roof of a sports centre in the port city of Bahia Blanca seen partially collapsed after a storm.
Image caption,Thirteen people were killed after the storm caused the partial collapse of a sports centre’s roof in the port city of Bahia Blanca

She said that, on Sunday morning, much of the area around her apartment remained quiet, with many people reluctant to leave their homes.

“I saw people’s windscreens on the floor where they’d been blown out by the wind. Some cars have been completely crushed,” she said.

“There are entire streets that are just completely blocked by trees and branches that have fallen down.

“Then you’ve got cables that were brought down by the trees that are now dangling down in the street.”

She added that, by Sunday evening, many of the streets were already being cleared and some public transport had resumed.

President Milei travelled to Bahia Blanca with several ministers on Sunday to survey the damage.

His office said the government was “working together with the provincial and municipal authorities to assist the victims and control the damage”.

Authorities in Uruguay, immediately to the north of Buenos Aires, said the storm also tore off roofs and toppled trees there.

Two people were killed in the early hours of Sunday, they said.

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