The Argentine government has been criticized for taking two weeks to inspect and combat the natural disasters.
Severe weather conditions continue to affect Argentina, as some provinces are battling to put out wildfires and others struggle with floods, with residents demanding President Mauricio Macri’s government take more efficient action to contain the disasters.
More than 1 million hectares have been consumed by strong fires in the country’s most populated province of Buenos Aires, the central province of Pampa and the southern province of Rio Negro in the past two weeks.
Seul Echeveste, the mayor of Telen, in the Pampa province, said that the national government had not coordinated with any local governments on technical tasks to control the fires or flooding.
“Two weeks of fires, and the government has not called us,” said Echeveste. “We hope that from they don’t continue to be indifferent and start acting.”
According to Alcides Haure, from the Argentine Agrarian Federation, said the government has not given local authorities firefighting airplanes.
“There is no help from any firefighting plane, there are several sources of fire,” said Haure. “Hectares, ranches and infrastructure are still burning. We only have help from local firefighters, but it’s not enough.”
In the northern part of the Pampa region, Santa Fe and northern Buenos Aires, thousands of hectares used for agriculture and cattle have been flooded and highways have been blocked. Dozens were evacuated and a 1-year-old boy died due to flooding inside his house in Nogoya, northern Argentina.
“It’s been more than 35 years since we experienced flooding like this, we are in a difficult, distressed emergency situation,” said Mariano Cuvertio from the local government of Santa Fe.
Only now, weeks after the incidents broke out, Environmental Minister Sergio Bergman said he would travel to the affected areas to coordinate the emergency response tasks and minimize the risks to local wildlife and the population.