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News Link • Natural Disasters

Argentina declares mourning for flood victims

•, Agencies
 Argentina have declared three days of national mourning after devastating flash floods killed at least 52 people and forced 1,500 residents to evacuate the city of La Plata.

Some people drowned after being trapped in their cars or while walking along city streets when the water rose suddenly on Tuesday night, while others were electrocuted, provincial governor Daniel Scioli told reporters on Wednesday.

Six deaths were reported a day earlier in Buenos Aires, 60km northwest of La Plata.

Many people climbed onto their roofs in the pouring rain after storm sewers backed up. Water surged up through drains in their kitchen and bathroom floors, and then poured in over their windowsills.

"It started to rain really hard in the evening, and began to flood," said Augustina Garcia Orsi, a 25-year-old student. "I panicked. In two seconds, I was up to my knees in water. It came up through the drains - I couldn't do anything."

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