photo coverage

Black Water

It's the middle of the night and Miguel Angel wakes up startled. It's odd: he went to bed quite late and, as he recalls, in a good mood. He feels restless, though he still didn't notice and his body act by reflex: he reaches to grab his the pack of cigarrettes he had left on the floor, the one he always leaves on the floor, next to his shoes. And while he's trying to reach them, his whole arm goes under water.

Claudia had a bad feeling and later that day she will say that she actually saw it coming, that's why she could save some things, the important ones: some documents, savings, her good shoes and the mink-fur coat that she can't remember when was it used for the last time. Everything is piled up her big antique wardrobe, heavy enough not to be moved by the flood.

Irma has a very light sleep and she never liked rain. That's why she woke up immediately when the water started to crawl under the door, to splash through the drain of her yard, to climb up the walls, slowly but firmly, like a giant animal. And it gave it enough time to jump up a chair and reach for the last air of the room, while water started to wet her face and the electricity was gone and she didn't know if the sun will ever rise again.

Chicho know he is not the only one, that this disaster affected many others and he doesn't want to tell his story like a heroic tale; he says that a true hero chooses his own struggles and he only tried to saved some old people, soaking wet and with hipothermia, who lived near-by, because if he left them die, they were going to bother him forever. He also says that he would have rather see boats of the Civil Defense or the one that belongs to the popular football player of La Plata City, "La Brujita" Verón. But nor the government or god helped him out on his quest.

Cecilia can't get to her home, she tries but the 520 is no longer a street, is a frantic river, a hungry "Maelstrom", swallowing up her entire neighborhood. Other people next to her -neighbord maybe? she can't recognize them- stare at the disaster and they hesitate. It keeps on raining; a man mumbles something about his mother and gets lost in the dark, moving forward with the water up to his chest. She will find shelter in the house of an unknown family; she will lay down, tired and blindly due to the lack of electricity in the bed of a little girl she will never meet, holding on to a cellphone that lets her know about the flood entering the Español Hospital, the fire on the national oil refinery (YPF), the overflow of the creeks, and she stays there tightly waiting for the world to end.

The night of April 2nd over 400 milimetres of rain fell over the city of La Plata, 60 km away of Buenos Aires City. The lack of hydraulic infrastructure and the non-existent urban planning helped in the collaps of the storm sewers that lead the water towards the La Plata River; the El Gato and Maldonado creeks overflowed, turning streets into furious rivers, drowning vehicles, catching drivers and passengers, dragging the people who walked by. Many residents found shelter on high floors, rooftops, in order to wait over 10 hours for the help to finally arrive and who still didn't showed up in some territories. 55 is the official number of dead people and 3500 are the total of evacuated neighbors. Almost 25% of the total population of La Plata got affected by this historical flood. 

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The strong rain overflowed the creeks that pass by La Plata city, from west to east towards the River. Once the waters recede, they left traces.

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Tolosa was one of the most affected neighborhoods, the water entered the houses destroying everything inside. According to a preliminary report of La Plata's city hall, 58.500 properties were affected by the rain.

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Angela Baronio, 82 years-old, resident of Tolosa neighborhood, noreast of La Plata city.

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Edith in his house on the edge of the "Gato" river.

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Pablo Pinthos found this picture of Jesus floating in the street.

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Romina Calderon in her house a week after the floods in the suburbs of the city of La Plata.

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The garbage collector companies confirmed that, instead of the regular 800 tons, after the flood over 4000 tons of garbage was collected.

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The windows of a notary's office.

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The lateral wall of a private school fell down due to the pressure of the acumulated water.

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Susana Castañera, 55 years old, from Tolosa neighborhood.

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Marks of the water on the wall.

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Pamela Olmedo, 21, from Ringuelet neighborhood.

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Once they recede, the waters left indelible traces.

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Santiago Barrera in his work in the edge of "el Gato" river.

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