Storm leaves 13 dead in Argentina

Buenos Aires, Jan 27 (IANS/EFE) The storm that hit the western Argentine province of Catamarca late last week killed at least 13 people and left 12 others missing, the official Telam news agency reported Sunday.

The number of people missing in the storm, which hit the area Thursday and Friday, was reduced from an earlier estimate of 25, Telam said, citing government figures.

A mudslide hit the towns of El Rodeo and Sijan Thursday night.

Extensive damage was reported in the region and hundreds of people have been evacuated, and emergency services personnel have not ruled out the possibility that the death toll could climb as the search for the missing continues.

“This was a disaster, but we are going to rebuild all the affected areas,” Catamarca Governor Lucia Corpacci said.

Corpacci visited the towns affected by the mudslide Saturday.

A cold wave followed by strong thunderstorms, heavy rains, powerful winds and hail hit much of Argentina Thursday.