The people of Argentina have come together in an effort to help the victims of recent torrential rains which forced the evacuation of 120,000 people from their homes in Corrientes, El Chaco, Formosa and other northern provinces and left 17 people dead. Recently, heavy rains and subsequent flooding have hit areas in the south of the country. Some 360,000 people have been affected by the floods. Local Red Cross branches all over the country have joined the Argentine Red Cross relief operation and are collecting donations.
The International Federation has made an initial donation of 100,000 Swiss francs in support of the operation. The popular TV channel "America", working in cooperation with the Argentine Red Cross, arranged an all-day telethon to raise funds for flood victims. "The reaction has been overwhelming", explains Luciano Timermann, a volunteer who is in charge of coordinating the Red Cross relief efforts. "We had hoped to get ten truck-loads of food, mattresses and other relief supplies. But we got 34 from the TV station alone, and help keeps coming in".
The supplies, donated by private persons and commercial companies alike, are sent to the local Red Cross branches in the flooded areas by truck or train. Some 70 volunteers are working in the central Red Cross warehouse in Buenos Aires, helping to sort the donations and load the trucks. ECHO has allocated 400,000 Swiss francs to the Argentine Red Cross relief operation.