Wed. Dec 11th, 2019

Strong wind causes a fire and death in the Argentine province of Mendoza

The strong winds that lashed in the last hours to the Argentine province of Mendoza (west) caused forest fires and the death of a woman, who died crushed by the fall of a tree on his house, informed this Sunday official sources.

The fires occurred near the town of Potrerillos, where the fire started on Saturday night and spread rapidly by the Zonda wind, which blows warm, dry and very hard from the Andes.

The Zonda is characteristic of Mendoza and often causes fires and other damage caused by gusts that reached 80 kilometers per hour this Sunday.

"Most of the lights are suffocated," Civil Defense director Daniel Burrieza told the Los Andes newspaper in Mendoza.

As a precaution, 60 people, including local residents and tourists, were evacuated in the area.

Potrerillos, 70 kilometers from the capital city of Mendoza, is a tourist mountain village.

Some fire sources were also detected in the towns of Uspallata and Tunuyán, also hit by the intense wind.

The Zonda also affected other localities around Mendoza and the capital itself, where Civil Defense reported the fall of almost two hundred trees, as well as blasting roofs and power cuts.

In the town of Mendoza Godoy Cruz, the strong wind caused the fall of a tree on the house of a woman, who died crushed inside.

Police sources cited by the official Telam agency identified the victim as Sandra Saldivar, 42, who was in her room at the time of the tragedy.

The Zonda also affected operations at the Mendoza airport.

A flight of the Brazilian company Gol, which was transporting the players of the Palmeiras football club, could not land due to the strong gusts and had to divert towards the Argentine city of Rosario.

Civil Defense of Mendoza issued a statement to ask the population to avoid approaching the affected areas.

The authorities warned that by national route 7, which connects Mendoza with Chile through the Andes, the transit is dangerous due to landslides and falls of stones.

"The prudent population is asked to facilitate the task of the authorities that since last night work to prevent the fire from spreading and doing more damage to the local flora and fauna, as well as private property," the statement said.

They also warned that the traffic on Route 40 has been interrupted at the height of Tunuyán because "the intensity of the wind and the smoke caused by the fires impede visibility".

. (tagsToTranslate) Strong (t) fire (t) province (t) argentina (t) Mendoza

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