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The city of Buenos Aires in Argentina was hit by heavy rainfall in the early hours of December 17, leaving behind floods, damages and falling trees. (Mel Valle/TheNEWS2/Zuma Press)

13 killed as fierce winds hit Argentina

December 17, 2023

By Amarachi Orie and Juan Carlos Paz, CNN

(CNN) — An intense storm in Argentina has left at least 13 people dead and others injured in the southwestern port city of Bahía Blanca, according to Mayor Federico Susbielles and local authorities.

Winds reached up to 140 kilometers (87 miles) per hour in the city on Saturday, and at least 300 people had been evacuated as of 3.30 a.m. local time (1 a.m. ET) Sunday, according to local authorities.

The city council said on social media late Saturday that the situation caused by the storm was a “catastrophe,” reporting multiple injuries, some “extremely serious.”

The council added that the most serious situation was at the sports club Bahiense del Norte, where medical emergency and civil defense workers were onsite.

In a statement posted to X, formerly Twitter, on Sunday, mayor Susbielles declared three days of mourning, saying: “I want to reaffirm our solidarity with the families and loved ones of the 13 deceased people. Accordingly, we have declared mourning in the city for the next 72 hours.”

He reminded citizens of the importance of keeping safe by staying home, adding: “We are still in an emergency situation, with electrical risk and risk of falling trees and structures.”

In an update posted on X around midday local time, the city council said a Crisis Committee met to plan the their next steps.

The city’s emergency teams received 103,544 calls about downed trees, power lines and signs, among other damage, according to a statement on Sunday.

The office of Argentina’s President Javier Milei said Saturday that the national cabinet is working with provincial and municipal authorities to help the victims and respond to the damage.

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