LA PLATA, Argentina (AP) -- Argentine police and soldiers searched house to house, in creeks and culverts and even in trees for bodies on Thursday after floods killed at least 57 people in the province and city of Buenos Aires.
As torrential rains stopped and the waters receded, the crisis shifted to guaranteeing public health and safety in this provincial capital of nearly 1 million people. Safe drinking water was in short supply, and more than a quarter-million people were without power, although authorities said most would get their lights back on overnight.
Many people barely escaped with their lives after seeing everything they own disappear under water reeking with sewage and fuel that rose more than six feet (nearly two meters) high inside some homes. The wreckage was overwhelming: piles of broken furniture, overturned cars, ruined food and other debris.
People embrace outside a club where the Red Cross set up a center to help flood victims in La Plata, in Argentina's Buenos Aires province, Thursday, April 4, 2013. Buenos Aires Gov. Daniel Scioli says 49 people died in this flooded capital of Argentina's largest province as torrential rains swamped entire neighborhoods, washing away cars and flooding some houses to their rooftops. AP / Natacha Pisarenko