Heavy rains leave 1.1mn people in Mendoza with no potable water

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Most of Argentine city Mendoza, home to some 1.1mn people, is suffering from total water cuts after heavy rains in the Andes made it impossible for local potable water plants to work.

"We are in an extreme situation due to heavy rains, potable water plants in Mendoza are out of service," local water authority EPAS announced through its Twitter account early Thursday (Jan 31) morning.

"The city relies on emergency tanks," another tweet reads.

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The water cuts are affecting the whole metropolitan area, from downtown Mendoza to Godoy Cruz, Las Heras, Guaymallén, Luján and Maipú, local press reported.

As was the case in the Andes in Santiago, Chile one week earlier, high altitude and heavy rain are to blame for the crisis, as they caused landslides, which in turn led to an abnormal and unexpected increase in the water turbidity.

"We had to close the water intakes of the potable water plants until that mud flow is down," local press quoted EPAS' president Javier Montoro as saying.

EPAS has asked citizens to limit the use of water reserves to basic needs as the emergency could last up to 48 hours.