Argentina: Floods - Information Bulletin n° 1

Situation Report
Originally published
This Information Bulletin is for information only. The Federation is not seeking any funding or other assistance from donors for this operation at this time.

Click here to view MAP: Argentina Floods - Location Map (18 Feb 2003)

The Situation

The rains, which usually fall at this time of year in the region of Buenos Aires, have been particularly severe in 2003; furthermore, problems of drainage and increasing numbers of people living in precarious housing exacerbate the effects of flooding. As of Monday 10 February, storms and heavy rains hit the region, and over two days, more water fell than the average rainfall for all February. In Buenos Aires, the areas of Palermo, Villa Crespo and Belgrano were most affected. Partidos de la Matanza, Lomas de Zamora, Tres de Febrero and San Martin, Escobar and Pilar were also hit. Storms in Buenos Aires and its outskirts felled trees and caused traffic accidents. In the province of La Rioja, west of the capital, three people died in the violent storms. According to Civil Defence reports, on Wednesday, 12 February, 3,200 people from the poorer districts of the outskirts of the capital and outlying rural areas, were housed in emergency centres, together with 200 people in the province of La Rioja.

Red Cross/Red Crescent Action

Argentine Red Cross assessments indicate that around 3,000 people were affected by the storms. Some 1,200 people were evacuated, mostly women and children, as follows: Pilar - 360 people; La Matanza -358 people; Escobar - 210 people; San Martín - 199 people; Tres de Febrero - 80 people. The Civil Defence, together with the fire brigade, took charge of evacuations, while city authorities issued warnings and safety advice to the population over the radio and on television.

The Argentine Red Cross monitored the situation closely and its volunteers were on standby. Of the nine branches in the disaster zone, San Andrés was required to mobilize assistance through the local emergency committee. 15 volunteers were deployed to assist evacuees in returning to their homes. The San Andrés branch also provided clothing and blankets to families living in high risk areas.

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For further details please contact :

  • The Argentine Red Cross in Buenos Aires; Phone (54) 114 9511391; Fax (54) 114 9527715.
  • Olaug Bergseth, Federation Desk Office, Phone 41 22 730 45 35; Fax 41 22 733 0395; email
All International Federation Operations seek to adhere to the Code of Conduct and are committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (SPHERE Project) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

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John Horekens
External Relations

Santiago Gil
Americas Department