The new Pope Francis from Argentina has called on public and church institutions in his native country to step up assistance to the tens of thousands of people left homeless by torrential rains that have killed at least 52 people. After Tuesday’s rapid rainfall dumped a month’s worth of water onto the capital province in only 2 hours, city streets in Buenos Aires faced the most devastating flooding since 1906. Poor drainage systems have left the streets looking much like Venice, Italy as the town utilizes kayaks and stand-up paddles for means of transportation through the city.
The province of Buenos Aires homes over 15 million people, including many surfers who frequent the Mar de Plata surf breaks south of the city. Due to the heavy rain fall, the kayaking population has also increased.
Pope Francis said he, “encourages civil and ecclesiastical institutions, as well as all people of good will, to provide in a spirit of charity and Christian solidarity the necessary help to those who have lost their homes or personal belongings.” As reported by Breaking News, Francis sent a telegram to his newly appointed successor, Buenos Aires Archbishop Mario Poli, saying he was praying for the dead, their families and survivors of the disaster.
At least 46 people died around the city of La Plata, while another six were reported dead in the low-lying capital, Buenos Aires.
Just hours before the flash flooding, storms made for some tricky conditions for surfing during the Rip CurlPro Argentina. Held in the Playa Grande area of Mar del Plata, top South American surfers battled in stormy weather and finished the contest.
An all-Brazilian podium included: Jihad Khodr, Matheus Navarro, David do Carmo and Marco Fernandez (BRA).