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Argentina

Three Days Mourning Declared After Flash Floods Kill At Least 56 In Argentina

AFP, CLARIN, LA CAPITAL, LA NACION, TERRA ARGENTINA (Argentina)

Worldcrunch

LAPLATA - At least 56 people were killed and 3,000 evacuated after flash floods hit the coast of Argentina, prompting President Cristina Kirchner to declare three days of national mourning.

Around 40cm of rain fell on La Plata in a short period late Tuesday night and during the early hours of Wednesday. Sixty-five kilometers away, Buenos Aires had earlier been hit by more than 15 centimeters of rainfall, says Clarin, which is where six of the fatalities occurred. Authorities have declared it the worst flooding in more than a century.

“The death toll in La Plata increased to 48, of which 24 have still not been identified,” said Minister of Security Ricardo Casal at a press conference, adding that the figure could rise. “We’ve never seen anything like this, it’s an unprecedented situation,” declared state Governor Daniel Scioli.

The mayor of La Plata, Pablo Bruera tweeted that he too was helping out, posting old pictures of him helping people but it was confirmed by Aerolineas Argentinas that he was, in fact, in Rio de Janeiro – prompting a massive backlash on social media sites. He later tweeted that there had been an error with his communications team, clarifying that he would be back Thursday to help out, says Terra Argentina.

President Kirchner arrived to the worst affected areas on Wednesday afternoon, meeting with Governor Scioli, who stressed that a program to assist the victims needed to be put in place, as well as heightening the security in the area. There is a fear of looting and 400 police have been deployed to the area, writes La Capital.

Kirchner’s own mother was among those evacuated, reports La Nacion, and the President told victims in the worst hit area of Tolosa that she remembered that when she was young, her house flooded too.

The AFP writes that in a letter to the former archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis offered his prayers to all those affected by the climatic catastrophe in his country.

Submerged cars, rescue teams, and were among the pictures that appeared on Twitter:

FOTO ENORME GESTO de Juan Sebastián Verón, ayudando a las personas que sufrierion por las inundaciones en La Plata. twitter.com/_CopaArgentina…

— Fútbol Argentino (@_CopaArgentina_) April 4, 2013

La Plata desde arriba twitter.com/judelucaa/stat…

— Matula me ama (@judelucaa) April 3, 2013

El fuerte temporal causa al menos 31 muertos en Buenos Aires y La Plata rtve.es/n/629640/twitter.com/rtve/status/31…

— RTVE (@rtve) April 3, 2013

#INUNDACION: @cfkargentina con los vecinos de Tolosa FOTO vía @mgiambartwitter.com/C5N/status/319…

— C5N (@C5N) April 3, 2013

Una imagen de La Plata twitter.com/Nexofin/status…

— Nexofin (@Nexofin) April 3, 2013

#Argentina No olvidemos los perros, gatos y demás mascotas durante las inundaciones, son nuestra responsabilidad.- twitter.com/_CALLEJERITO_/…

— CALLEJERITO®(@_CALLEJERITO_) April 4, 2013

VIDEO: Argentina #floods claim 50 lives amid torrential rain: bbc.in/ZbBnDmtwitter.com/BBCWorld/statu…

— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) April 4, 2013

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Ideas

Joshimath, The Sinking Indian City Has Also Become A Hotbed Of Government Censorship

The Indian authorities' decision to hide factual reports on the land subsidence in Joshimath only furthers a sense of paranoia.

Photo of people standing next to a cracked road in Joshimath, India

Cracked road in Joshimath

@IndianCongressO via Twitter
Rohan Banerjee*

MUMBAI — Midway through the movie Don’t Look Up (2021), the outspoken PhD candidate Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) is bundled into a car, a bag over her head. The White House, we are told, wants her “off the grid”. She is taken to a warehouse – the sort of place where CIA and FBI agents seem to spend an inordinate amount of time in Hollywood movies – and charged with violating national security secrets.

The Hobson’s choice offered to her is to either face prosecution or suspend “all public media appearances and incendiary language relating to Comet Dibiasky”, an interstellar object on a collision course with earth. Exasperated, she acquiesces to the gag order.

Don’t Look Upis a satirical take on the collective apathy towards climate change; only, the slow burn of fossil fuel is replaced by the more imminent threat of a comet crashing into our planet. As a couple of scientists try to warn humanity about its potential extinction, they discover a media, an administration, and indeed, a society that is not just unwilling to face the truth but would even deny it.

This premise and the caricatured characters border on the farcical, with plot devices designed to produce absurd scenarios that would be inconceivable in the real world we inhabit. After all, would any government dealing with a natural disaster, issue an edict prohibiting researchers and scientists from talking about the event? Surely not. Right?

On January 11, the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), one of the centers of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), issued a preliminary report on the land subsidence issue occurring in Joshimath, the mountainside city in the Himalayas.

The word ‘subsidence’ entered the public lexicon at the turn of the year as disturbing images of cracked roads and tilted buildings began to emanate from Joshimath.

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