OAN’s Abril Elfi
9:44 AM – Sunday, December 17, 2023
At least 13 people have died in a big thunderstorm that left the whole city of Bahia Blanca, Argentina, without electricity and hundreds evacuated.
On Saturday, a huge thunderstorm hit the port city, causing the roof of a sports club to collapse, killing at least 13 people who were sheltering from the storm inside.
The mayor of Bahia Blanca, Federico Susbielles, also confirmed the death toll in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“Unfortunately, the emergency service confirms the death of 13 people in the Bahiense del Norte club,” Susbielles said.
He continued, stating that in the course of the emergency they received “430 serious calls, 132 reported cases of hypothermia, over 100 roofs flying away, over 1000 downed trees, and a peak of 350 evacuated people housed in five evacuation centers.”
Susbielles said that over 250 public service responders had been attending to the incident.
Winds exceeding 87 mph were recorded in the city, resulting in power outages throughout the area.
Images and videos captured the intense storm that hit Bahia Blanca, with thick wind gusts smashing into high-rise buildings, distant lightning strikes, and haze enveloping the city.
Argentina’s newly elected president, Javier Milei, released a statement on X sharing his condolences with the residents and loved ones of the victims.
“The president of the nation expresses his deepest condolences to family and friends of those who died due to the storm,” his office said in the statement. “The wind gusts exceeded 150 km/h in Bahía Blanca and an orange alert is in effect in different areas of the Province of Buenos Aires. At this moment, the National Cabinet is working together with the provincial and municipal authorities to assist the victims and control the damage.”
NBA player Manu Ginobili, who was born and started off playing in Bahia Blanca, also shared a heartfelt message on X, sharing his condolences for his city.
“Very sad about what my club and my city and the region are going through. A big hug to everyone and my condolences to the families of the victims. Bahia Strong!!”