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You are here: Home / Media / Archive / 2003 / 0506

0506

FLOODS IN SANTA FE THE LARGEST ENVIRONMENTAL CATASTROPHE IN THE HISTORY OF ARGENTINA

The number of fatal victims for the worst environmental tragedy continues to grow. “It was not a natural catastrophe”, stated Friends of the Earth Argentina (Proteger) regarding floods in Santa Fe that resulted in more than 200,000 people affected. The organization reported that neither preventive measures nor an emergency plan were taken, and blamed the authorities. Friends of the Earth Argentina asks for urgent international help with the support of all Friends of the Earth groups. (and instructions for help/support below)

SANTA FE, ARGENTINA, 3 May 2003.– The floodings registered in the city of Santa Fe represent “the worst environmental disaster of the Argentinian history. Also the worst avoidable tragedy of our history”, says Jorge Cappato, United Nations Global 500 Laureate and general coordinator of Friends of the Earth – Argentina.

Based in Santa Fe, the organisation (a member of Friends of the Earth International) is giving assistance to the evacuees since the beginnig of the disaster, last tuesday 29th April. “ Although help is coming for the evacuation centers where more than 40,000 affected people are provided shelter, there are more than 150,000 self-evacuees suffering all kind of hardships. They are staying at medium class homes but they don’t have clothes or food”.

Taking into account nearby villages the environmental refugees total more than 200,000; it is said that there are 22 death people, but certainly there are many more, from 50 to 100, warned Friends of the Earth Argentina.

“If the Santa Fe Mayor Marcelo Alvarez didn’t have the information of what was going to happen then he is a complete irresponsible totally incompetent, and if the information was available and people were not warned then the irresponsibility was bordering on the criminal”, added Jorge Cappato.

“Now we know that experts from INA (Instituto Nacional del Agua) had the information, since last January, of an unusual warming in the Atlantic Ocean, between 15º and 30º South Latitude, which increased precipitations on the medium stretch of the Salado River”, explained Cappato. “Even some journalists raised alarm over a huge hydric mass early enough”.

Cappato added : “Everybody knows in Santa Fe that more than 200,000 people are living in areas of an enormous hydric risk, but there was no emergency plan, and that’s the reason why the chaos was so great. What is absolutely unforgivable is that people were not notified in order to save their belongings and even their lives. The affected people are the poorest settlers of the city. The ones that voted for National elections on schools last Sunday and few hours later were buried by water”.

“We are concerned about the ´day after´. When it ceases to be news for the important National media, there will be thousands of people suffering all the imaginable needs. Many affected had lost their houses, and almost all their belongings, their livelihood and jobs”, warned Cappato.

“It is not a natural disaster. In order to be a tragedy an extraordinary rainfall is not enough. It is necessary exhausted soils because of monocultures like soya, unwise deforestation throughout the whole basin, misconstructed roads, lack of scientific information regarding adaptation to Climate Change and, above all, ineffective governing with an inconceivable disregard for those who need more, who, paradoxically, have been voting them for the last twenty years.”

Further information:

Proteger – Friends of the Earth, Argentina
Address: Balcarce 1450 - 3000 Santa Fe - Argentina
Phone-Fax: +54-342-4558520 (Leticia, speaks English)
Jorge Cappato: +54-93425-016363
Julieta Peteán (Press): +54-93425-465774
Internet: www.amigosdelatierra.org.ar - www.proteger.org.ar

*** Deposit account (dollars)

Please only effect your payment via SWIFT MT100
Correspondent Bank: Banco de la Nación Argentina
(field 56) New York,
SWIFT Code: NACNUS33
CHIPS Participant Nbr. 0855
Fedwire Nbr. 026008552
Beneficiary's Bank: Nuevo Banco Suquía SA
(field 57 A) Chips UID 408635
SWIFT Code: NBSQARBA
Account Nbr: 000912001000
Beneficiary: Fundacion PROTEGER
(field 59) Account Nbr. 010-16-21420-6
CBU: 3870010/9-0080160214206/4
Banco Suquia, Sucursal 10 -25 de Mayo, Santa Fe, Argentina
CUIT 30-66067979-7

 

Deposit account (Euros)

Please only effect your payment via SWIFT MT100
Correspondent Bank: Unicrédito Italiano SPA
(field 56) Milano, Italy
SWIFT CODE: UNCRITMM
Beneficiary's Bank: Nuevo Banco Suquía SA
(field 57 A) SWIFT CODE: NBSQARBA
Account Nbr. 1043
Beneficiary: Fundacion PROTEGER
(field 59) Account N° 010-16-21420-6
CBU: 3870010/9-0080160214206/4
Banco Suquia, Sucursal 10 -25 de Mayo, Santa Fe, Argentina
CUIT 30-66067979-7

 

 

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