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AP PHOTOS: Argentine town digs out after mammoth mudslide

January 17, 2017
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, 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)

VOLCAN, Argentina (AP) — 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.

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