Flooding caused by heavy rains in Argentina have closed a key section of one of the most important motorways in South America.

 

National Route 7 crosses the country from East to West, from the capital city of Buenos Aires to the border with Chile, linking the Atlantic coast with the Andes.

 

The 1,224-kilometre (761-mile) motorway forms part of the Pan-American Highway which continues into Chile as Route CH-60.

 

But flooding has forced the authorities to close a stretch of the road which runs through the Laguna La Picasa lake and is now partly underwater.

 

And they fear a repeat of the situation in 1999 when flooding destroyed the lake section of the road, leaving the motorway closed for seven years.

 

A car driver filmed the scene with his dashcam as the waters burst onto the section of National Route 7, between the provinces of Buenos Aires and Santa Fe, shortly before it was closed to traffic.

 

Interior Minister Rogelio Frigerio is to hold an urgent meeting with local governors to talk about the situation.

 

Work will start this week on digging a canal aimed to lower the water level to reduce flooding in the area.

 

Juan Carlos Duhalde, the president of the basin in La Picasa, said: "The situation is very grave, as the water is about to break the road.

 

"It will not flood it, but destroy it, as happened in 1999 when we did not have the route for seven years."

 

The section of road through the lake was raised after the last major flooding. It was designed to be two metres above the maximum height of the lake and six metres above the water in normal conditions.

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Author: Martina Salas

I am a journalist focus in human interest stories from Spain and Latin America.