Thursday, February 22, 2024

ARGENTINA | 03-03-2023 13:20

Buenos Aires on red alert amid extreme 'heatwave'

Buenos Aires and its surroundings remain under red alert for extreme temperatures; Heat wave comes following widespread blackout on Wednesday that left around 40% of country's families without power for hours.

Large parts of the Buenos Aires metropolitan area remained under a red alert level for extreme temperatures this morning , as the National Meteorological Service (SMN) warned people to take care.

The heat wave comes in the midst of a round of power cuts, with almost 70,000 Edesur and Edenor users still affected and follows a widespread blackout on Wednesday that left around 40 percent of the country's families without power.

The areas affected by the red alert are Buenos Aires City and sectors of Buenos Aires Province, including as General Alvear, General Belgrano, Las Flores, Lobos and Saladillo, where maximum temperatures are peaking between 36 and 38 degrees Celsius (or between 97 and 100 degrees Farenheight) are expected.

Red level alerts are the maximum issued by the meteorological agency, indicating dangerous health affects. Outside of the province, the SMN has also issued orange and yellow alerts for lower temperatures for much of the central part of the country and the Litoral region.

Talking with RePerfilAr, meteorologist Ezequiel Marcuzzi said that Buenos Aires set a temperature record for March, beating the former record from 1952. However, he predicted an easing of the extreme heat over the weekend, with a slight decline of temperatures lasting into the beginning of the following week.

Dropping temperatures will benefit the more than 20 million people out of the country's 46 million who lost electricity for hours on Wednesday evening after a high-tension transmission line outside the Buenos Aires metropolitan area caught fire, shutting off swathes of the grid.

The power cut is believed to have been caused by a fire in a field near high-tension lines connected to the Atucha 1 nuclear power plant, confirmed Yanotti.

In a note sent Wednesday night to the Federal Court of Campana, which has jurisdiction in the region where the fire took place, Economy Minister Sergio Massa called on judges to “investigate, prosecute and, if necessary, arrest those responsible for the very serious acts that could fall under the crimes of arson and havoc," as he expressed his "certainty about the intentionality" of what happened.




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