Description of the disaster
In January 2018, heavy rains dropped 290 mm of cumulative rainfall in Presidencia Roque Sáenz Peña (January, the city’s rainiest month, normally receives an average of 100 mm of rain), causing flooding that isolated various sections of the city, disrupted the electrical supply and destroyed the city’s sewerage system. Some homes and public buildings were inundated with between 10 cm and 150 cm of water. The affected neighbourhoods were the following: Santa Mónica, Tiro Federal, Ginés Benítez, Monseñor de Carlo, Santa Elena, Hipólito Yrigoy en, Sáenz Peña, Milenium, San José, Piñeiro, Nala, Pablo VI and Quinta Ocho.
On 24 January, the media began covering the emergency, and a “State of Hydric, Economic, Productive and Social Emergency” was declared. All the municipal and provincial government agencies responded to this emergency, and the national government, through the Secretariat of Civil Protection (which is part of the Ministry of Security), mobilized staff to the affected zone.
During the operation, two of the collective centres had difficulties providing potable water and with solid waste management in their bathrooms. Due to this situation, some people suffered illnesses such as gastrointestinal pain and skin rashes. People who were sheltered in some of these centres had no access to sanitary services, and there were some temporary difficulties in obtaining food due to challenges in accessing the affected region. Additionally, the collapse of the sewage system producing stagnant water and foul odours.