Buenos Aires begins cleanup after record flood

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Argentine flag flies at half-mast in memory of the lives lost during the recent flood. The death toll now stands at 56

Emergency workers in Argentina are still working to rescue residents left stranded by the flooding in Buenos Aires.

Over 50 people are known to have died in one of the heaveist rainfalls since record keeping began.
Thousands more were stranded on rooftops, the roofs of city buses and in treetops. Thousands more were evacuated from their homes.

Three days of national mourning have been declared by the Argentine government after what it has called “un unprecedented catastrophe”.

In an interview with BBC Daniel Scioli, Buenos Aires provincial Governor said, “We’ve never seen anything like it”

“People were taken by surprise, and some didn’t have time to escape this deadly trap,” Mr Scioli said, referring to the speed with which the waters rose.

Officals report that 16 inches of rain fell on La Plata over two hours on Tuesday night. The same storm had dumped 15 inches of rainfall on Buenos Aires, the capital.

Approximately 48 people have been killed in La Plata and six in Buenos aires local officials report. The Red Cross reported that most of the victims were elderly people who drowned in their homes.

So far, half of the recovered bodies have been identified and rescue workers acknowledge thatmore may be found as the waters recede.

Buenos Aires Mayor, Mauricio Macro said that about 350,000 people had been impacted by the rain and hundreds are still in shelters.

Pope Francis, a Buenos Aires native has challenged the local authorities to increase their aid to those left homeless by the storm.

The Pope sent a telegram to Mario Poli, his newly appointed successor, saying he was praying for the people that died as well as their families and survivors.

Jerry Nelson is a freelance photojournalist.  Currently living and working in Argentina he focuses on social justice issues.  Known internationally for capturing events in a documentary style with an eye towards the aesthetic, his work has appeared in CNN, USAToday, Huffington Post and others.  A nomad at heart, he is always looking for that next gig which will take him over the next hill or around the next curve.  Follow him on Twitter, Facebook or visit his website, JourneyAmerica.org or email him today.

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