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April 16, 2014
Sunday, April 7, 2013

Scioli denies flood death toll is higher

Donations for flood victims were received in many parts of the city, including the Mary Terán de Weiss stadium where the Argentine tennis team was playing the Davis Cup.

The Buenos Aires provincial government yesterday confirmed that 51 people were killed as a result of torrential rains that flooded large parts of the city of La Plata on Tuesday night, while one woman “remains missing and she is being intensively looked for.” But a court has estimated the death toll may be larger and began an investigation.

Buenos Aires Governor Daniel Scioli confirmed the official death toll yesterday morning and rejected other reports, calling people “not to distort a situation that is already dramatic.”

“How could we deny such a sensitive issue?,” said the governor as Ricardo Casal, the provincial Security minister, confirmed a woman is still missing.

Casal criticized Judge Luis Arias and public attorney Julián Axat for distributing a list with the names of seven other people who allegedly died during the storm, describing their attitude as “irresponsible.”

Pope Francis called Scioli yesterday to express solidarity with the victims and their relatives, said Buenos Aires province Cabinet Chief Alberto Pérez.

Pérez then added that Scioli will visit the pontiff in Rome after the current situation is solved.

“The Pope talked to the governor to bring us all the strength of the Catholic Church,” said Pérez speaking from one of the many distribution centres in La Plata where donations were being delivered to flood victims yesterday.

In a press release published later on, the Buenos Aires government stated the Pope “urged Scioli to continue with his struggle and his work, that God is taking care of him.”

Scioli then told Francis that “today a Mass will be held in honour of the victims to provide will that spiritual strength so needed in times like these.”

Investigation

Casal criticized Judge Luis Arias and public attorney Julián Axat for distributing a list with the names of seven other people who allegedly died during the storm, describing their attitude as “irresponsible.”

However, Arias did not take back what he said and announced that on Monday he will formally request hospitals in the affected areas to submit reports on what happened after the violent storm.

The judge warned that “there were more victims that were not reported to the Judiciary.”

Casal argued that the official death toll was put up based on “expert studies that confirm the cause and time of death,” as he described Axat and Arias as “irresponsible” for “arousing more panic without checking the information first.”

“People have died in the city of La Plata during the past few days but that is part of the cycle of life, it does not necessarily mean that it was the result of the violent storm that hit the area,” Casal said.

CFK’s mother not in olivos

Oscar Parrilli, the chief-of-staff of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, denied yesterday a report by newspaper Perfil claiming that Ofelia Wilhelm, the President’s mother, had been moved from flooded La Plata to the presidential residence in Olivos.

Parrilli described the article as “absolutely false and malicious.”

“Wilhelm did not visit the presidential residence this past week despite the fact that her daughter lives there because she is the President of Argentina, whether (Jorge) Fontevecchia (Perfil’s manager) likes it or not. It may be an obvious remark but with certain media one has to explain everything,” said Parrilli.

According to the paper, the reason to take Wilhelm to the President’s house was hostility by her nextdoor neighbours. The President’s mother lives in an effected area of La Plata, but her house was not flooded. La Plata authorties yesterday estimated the losses caused by the flood in 2.6 billion pesos.

Macri calls for joint work

Buenos Aires City Mayor Mauricio Macri called yesterday to “reflect on the matter, beyond political differences, so that we can work together” with the national government.

“If we had worked together a large part of this would have been avoided,” admitted the leader of the centre-right party PRO. As he analyzed the consequences of the torrential storms that hit the city, Macri said: “We need to reflect on this matter.”

When asked if the President had called him after the floods, Macri explained he “only talked to some of her Cabinet members such (Deputy Security Minister Sergio) Berni and some activists.”

congress opens account

Cower House Speaker Julián Domínguez said yesterday a bank account was opened for lawmakers to donate money to victims, adding that the Lower House alloted 300,000 pesos to buy goods.

Herald with DyN, Telam

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