About 200 people stranded between Argentina and Chile due to heavy snowfall

About 200 people stranded between Argentina and Chile due to heavy snowfall

About 200 people, mostly tourists and truck drivers are still stranded by a snowstorm in the high mountainous area near the Andean border between Argentina and Chilewith temperatures of 10 degrees Celsius below zero, a municipal source reported on Sunday.

Others 120 people could be rescued during the early morning by police and military personnelin the towns of Las Cuevas, Los Penitentes and Puente del Inca, at more than 3,000 meters of altitude in the foothills of the Andes.

“There are temperatures of 10 degrees Celsius below zero and there was more than a meter of accumulated snow on the roads,” said Héctor Tello, an official from the Las Heras commune, in statements to channel C5N.

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Vehicles have been trapped by snow since Saturday. “All were and continue to be supplied with hot water and food by the Gendarmerie (border police),” said Tello.

At the time the storm hit on Saturday, following a sudden turn in the winds, there were more than 300 vehicles stranded on the routes that link both countries.

The Los Libertadores border crossing was closed by the authorities. “There were cars that could not continue on their way because of the fog and the doors could not even be opened to get out,” according to the official.

Las Heras is in the province of Mendoza, hit by a wave of polar cold, about 1,200 km west of Buenos Aires.

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The evacuees were transferred to shelters in the towns of Punta de Vacas and Uspallata. Highway trucks had to clear the routes to allow the rescues, which “will end on Monday,” Tello said.

Weather conditions “continue to be bad” due to the storm, he said.

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