Argentine town digs out after mammoth mudslide

People in this small town in northern Jujuy province are scrambling to rescue what's left of their belongings a week after torrential rains unleashed a devastating mudslide that buried most of the homes.

Volcan was the worst-hit by the heavy rains that swelled rivers in the region about 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) north of Argentina's capital.

The mudslide killed two people and forced the evacuation of more than 1,000 in several communities in an area frequented by tourists known as the Quebrada de Humahuaca.

Residents have dug out jars, furniture, even religious icons and statues and carted them to rooftops for safekeeping, though rescue teams fear that the roofs will cave in.

Using shovels and buckets, some people are still cleaning out mud, while hundreds more remain in shelters waiting for help promised by the provincial government to rebuild their homes.

President Mauricio Macri said Tuesday that climate change is to blame for the heavy rains and that the government will take on infrastructure work to prepare for destructive flooding.


In this Jan. 13, 2017 photo, volunteers walk with shovels on the way to help clear clear the mud and help locals the town of Volcan, Jujuy province, Argentina. The mudslide was caused by the intense rains that hit the area one week ago, flooding the town with mud, killing several and causing the evacuation of thousands. (Gianni Bulacio/Infoto via AP)

In this Jan. 13, 2017 photo, residents carry their belonging to the roofs of their mud flooded homes in the town of Volcan, Jujuy province, Argentina. Authorities declared the area a disaster zone after the town was hit by a mudslide one week ago, that covered it in a thick layer of mud. (Gianni Bulacio/Infoto via AP)

In this Jan. 13, 2017 photo, residents walk with rescued religious figures, in Volcan, Jujuy province, Argentina. The statues will be taken to a secure place until cleanup efforts are completed in the mud covered town. (Gianni Bulacio/Infoto via AP)

In this Jan. 13, 2017 photo, a resident carries a gas cylinder as he rescues items from his mud damaged home in the town of Volcan, Jujuy province, Argentina, Monday. The town which was hit by a mudslide one week ago, has forced the evacuation on most of its residents. Several are refusing to go, not willing to leave their belongings behind, while others help in the recovery effort. (Gianni Bulacio/Infoto via AP)

In this Jan. 13, 2017 photo, a local resident climbs a ladder as he carries his belongings to the roof of his mud damaged home, in the town of Volcan, Jujuy province, Argentina. Authorities declared the area a disaster zone after the town was hit by a mudslide one week ago, that covered it in a thick layer of mud. (Gianni Bulacio/Infoto via AP)

In this Jan. 13, 2017 photo, a resident begins the clean up of his mud damaged home in the town of Volcan, Jujuy province, Argentina. That town was hit by a mudslide a week ago after heavy rains blanketed the area. (Gianni Bulacio/Infoto via AP)

In this Jan. 13, 2017 photo, residents carry rescued religious figures through the mud covered streets of the town of Volcan, Jujuy province, Argentina. The statues will be taken to a secure place until cleanup efforts are completed in the mud covered town. (Gianni Bulacio/Infoto via AP)

In this Jan. 13, 2017 photo, a resident looks at his son, next to a pile of bags full of donations in Volcan, Jujuy province, Argentina. The town was covered by a mudslide caused by the intense rains that hit the area one week ago, flooding it with mud, killing several and causing the evacuation of thousands. (Gianni Bulacio/Infoto via AP)

In this Jan. 13, 2017 photo, residents wade waist deep in the mud, with rescued religious figures, in the town of Volcan, Jujuy province, Argentina. The statues will be taken to a secure place until cleanup efforts are completed. (Gianni Bulacio/Infoto via AP)

In this Jan. 13, 2017 photo, a resident begins the clean up of his mud flooded home in the town of Volcan, Jujuy province, Argentina. That town was covered by a mudslide a week ago after heavy rains hit the area. (Gianni Bulacio/Infoto via AP)

In this Jan. 13, 2017 photo, a resident begins the clean up of his mud flooded home in the town of Volcan, Jujuy province, Argentina. That town was covered by a mudslide a week ago after heavy rains hit the area. (Gianni Bulacio/Infoto via AP)

In this Jan. 13, 2017 photo, a man walks to a shelter in the mud stricken t town of Volcan, Jujuy province, Argentina. The mudslide was caused by the Intense rains that hit the area one week ago, flooding the town with mud, killing several and causing the evacuation of thousands. (Gianni Bulacio/Infoto via AP)


Text from the AP news story,  AP PHOTOS: Argentine town digs out after mammoth mudslide.

Photos by Gianni Bulacio

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